Tips to fixing soil compaction
It can be very rewarding to water your tree every week and watch the water gradually become absorption into the ground, but that is far from the end of care for the tree. Having a nice, well groomed yard to go with the tree may look nice, but every time you walk by the tree or, especially, when you drive a lawn mower near it, the soil reacts by compressing. This effect is potentially harmful to the tree, but not to worry – there are ways to go about fixing root & soil compaction problems.
Before implementing treatment, first make sure the diagnosis of soil compaction is accurate. To test the soil density, you can either stab a screwdriver into the earth, the amount of resistance you get being an indicator, or you can dig up some of the soil and look for signs of it being dry, dull, and grayish.
If the soil is indeed compacted, you can mix compost into the top 8-10 inches of soil as soil compaction cuts off nutrients and water absorption, and the compost replaces some of it. Afterwards, surround the tree with a ring of mulch.
You can also release earthworms into the soil to let them wriggle and eat their way through – it opens up airspaces, which in turn allows for water absorption and breathing room.