Deep Root Feeding

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by LawnTamer, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Merit has been tested with mycorrhyzae & hasn't had any negative effects. Interestingly, the opposite seems true. Biologically active soils seem to interfere with the absorption of Merit. The beneficial microbes compete for absorption sites which makes the Merit a little slower to absorb.
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,178

    WoodAce tablets are what the installer is supposed to be placing right outside of the root ball of the tree. If that were done, I do not think we would be discussing how to get fertilizer into the tree way after planting. When I inject a tree or shrub I am placing my needle no deeper than 8" into the ground in most cases. Deep root feeding is really a misnomer. I price by cost + a 30% onf materials according to shrub height/ trunk caliper + my $45 stop fee. I will mix Merit and solution grade fertilizers together. The labeling and product bulletins for Merit do reccomend a soluble nitrogen fertilizer to enhance uptake. I have noticed a difference of about 14 days if I do not add some 23-0-23 + micronutrients to an injection mix.
  3. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    That's true but the concentration of roots drops very rapidly the further you move away from the trunk. You have to put down exponentially more material to reach the same number of roots when you get further out.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    yes but the closer in you are, you end up with a higher concentrations of woody/support roots and less feeders.

    if you have a tree with a 10' drip line., you have an area of pi r^2 3.14x25= or 78 sqft.... so lets say the furthest roots are 3x the drip line or 30 to get that area of possible roots you got (3.14 x 225)- 78sqft, that gives you 628 sqft....almost ten times as much surface... even if its only 2x the drip end with an area outside of the dripline 236 sq ft. 3x the amount of surface area. under the drip line.

    there have been studies showing that while you get a large concentration a roots under teh drip line. more than 50% of the roots are beyond the drip line. so yes you have greater concentration around the trunk, those are mostly support/woody roots so your greatest concentration of feeder roots is going to be closer the dripline and beyond.

    This is why trenching and construction activities can do so much damage to trees.
  5. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Thanks for jumping in for me guys (I was offline yesterday after I made my post). But, no, there is no compatibility issues with myco and Merit.
  6. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Thanks for all the replies, and all the good info.

    If I do a flow test, say into a bucket, at the same psi I'll be applying at, will the flow rate be lower injecting into soil?

    Part of the reason I am getting into this is that many of my clients have heavy clay soil, it is also VERY low in fe and micro-nutrients, many trees suffer from this, the local ag extension has recommended strongly in this area that people use soil injection to apply a feeding of chelated fe, epsom salt and a blend of N and micros. Anyone used a blend like this? What kind of results have you gotten?
  7. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I use a flow meter so soil density resistance is not an issue. Each plant gets what is needed.

    I use a similar fert that your ag has recommended, but without the epsom salt. Go with your Ag, or do a soil test yourself to confirm their recommendations.:waving:
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I have a deep root injector that I inherited from a other company. I have only used it for termite work and aeration of small compacted spots with straight high pressure water. But my point here is Hawaii is mostly volcanic soil with a high infiltration rate. Are you not losing a lot of your deep root injection to leaching into ground water???

    IMHO on soils that lack CEC and Hydraulic conductivity, slow release granules offer a longer feeding that can be totally up-taken by the plant instead of leaching into ground water. I also recognize that most companies don't care about the quality of their work and only care about being able to up sell an other service.
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,178

    The soil that most lawns, trees and shrubs are installed on has a very poor infitration rate. It cakes up, is almost impermeable to water and resembles the adobe type soils found on the contintent. Sure, on the Big Island, soils can be largely cinder that does infilftrate. On Oahu, my island, the soil is a almost impermeable unless it is beachfront property where no soil was imported. If not, a common practice here is for the "landscapers" to F@#$ up very well draining sandy loam by bringing in a red clay soil to plant on. After that is done, sodium is retained, nutrients are locked up and the soil becomes especially hostile to maintaining healthy plants.

    I only do liquid fertilizers and soil injections on ground that does not accept water readily. Most soil tests I have pulled indicate a very high CEC. Micronutrients, P and K are often locked up in the soil unavailable to the plant unless applied as a foilar, soil injection or otherwise directly to the the plant. I also do not fertilize anything that does not need it. Even if it is on my monthly maintenance. There have been many cases where a lawn being fed a liquid monthly can skip a month or only needs 1/8-1/4 lb N to maintain color and growth because the soil is holding the nutrients. If I really wanted to monitor this, I would pull leaf and petiole tests, but it is good enough for me to observe growth and color.
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I was only in Hawaii once for a couple hours and that was a fueling stop. A professor doing research on Seashore Paspalum could only talk about how it even grew in the volcanic soil of Hawaii.

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