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Towards improving soil biology and organic matter for urban tree health

2007 | Bryant Scharenbroch and Gary Watson, The Morton Arboretum
Examine biochemistry in urban soils, determine the effectiveness of mulching, compost teas, and fertilization to improve soil organic matter and soil biology. Particular focus will be placed on compost teas as a mulch alternative in situations where surface mulching is not possible.

Study Conclusion

Compost topdressings and wood-chip mulches are effective and cost-efficient methods for improving soil quality and stimulating tree growth in compacted urban landscape soils.

Year: 2007

Funding Duration: 3-5 years

Grant Program: Hyland R. Johns

Grant Title: Towards improving soil biology and organic matter for urban tree health

Researcher: Bryant Scharenbroch, Gary Watson

Key words: Acer rubrum; Aerated Compost Tea; Betula nigra; Compost; Inorganic Fertilizer; Organic Materials; Organic Matter; Soil;
Wood-Chip Mulch.

Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:

  • Scharenbroch, Bryant and Watson, Gary W. (2014) Wood Chips and Compost Improve Soil Quality and Increase Growth of Acer rubrum and Betula nigra in Compacted Urban Soil. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 40(6): 319–331. View the Publication >

General Audience/Trade Publications:


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Applications for competitive research grants, the Ohio Chapter ISA Education Grant Program, and all scholarships open Jan. 15.

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