Tree Health Improvements –
Root Collar Excavation

Remediation for over mulching and improper planting

Need Experienced Root Care & Revitalization Services For Your Property in the Greater Princeton, NJ area?

Richard A. McCoy Horticultural Services Inc. features root collar excavation and root revitalization for trees and shrubs, as well as Air Spade Excavation Service for General Contractors.

Root Collar Excavation and Root Revitalization

This process involves removal of ground covers and turf grasses from the center of the plant. The exact area is determined by the size of the plant and the uses of highly compressed air and a sophisticated tool called an Air-Spade. This equipment allows us to look into the soil profile and expose the root collar or root flare of a tree or shrub without damaging the fine feeder roots. In addition, provide a more thorough inspection of the root flare and comprehensive removal of girdling and adventitious roots. As well as turning over the soil within the drip zone (the most vital feeder roots reside in this area) to loosen soil compaction and incorporate organic matter, organic fertilizer and beneficial Mychorrhizae are then applied.

A basic description of mycorrhizea would be symbiotic root fungi that adhere to the plant’s root system and aid in water, nutrient uptake, and disease resistance. This process would be completed by a hand-spaded edge, a three-inch layer of mulch and grass seed over the balance of the excavated area.

Air Spade Excavation

We highly recommend our Air Spade Excavation Service to general contractors, electricians, plumbers, excavators, etc. who are excavating for service trenches and do not want to compromise the integrity of the root systems of their client’s trees or other sensitive areas such as underpoured concrete walkways.

Construction companies can set themselves apart as environmental leaders by preserving existing trees with the use of Air Spade technology. The Air Spade is utilized to excavate under tree roots without cutting them, and service lines may be installed as needed at the base of the trench, under the root system. Other means such as backhoes and track excavators show no regard for the existing environment and cut through the roots, thus weakening the root system and compromising stability and nutrient uptake. This leads to the decline and death of the tree years later. The air spade accomplishes the same task as the heavy equipment with minimum disturbance to the existing flora.

The #1 cause of tree failure is over-mulching or improper planting

Issues: Subpar plants and contractor neglect lead to – Root rot, girdling roots, and adventitious roots growing in mulch instead of soil. This reduces nutrient uptake and weakens the support system roots should provide.

Solutions: We offer three affordable programs to get your trees and shrubs on the way to a healthier and longer life.

  • Cursory Manual Root Collar Excavation

  • Root Collar Excavation – with air-spade technology

  • Root Revitalization – Root collar excavation with air-spade technology with added beneficial soil amendments to feeder root zone

Even trees and shrubs that appear healthy need root collar excavation

If your trees and shrubs look like this:

*Over mulched/possibly planted improperly

The declining roots system could look like:

*Manual root collar excavation




420 Rt 31
Ringoes New Jersey 08551

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