Q: I have two large oaks on my property. I am contemplating hiring a tree specialist to care for my trees. The service includes “inoculate root zone with mycorrhizal spores and inject with biostimulants to help improve nutrient absorption and relieve drought stress.” Is this service necessary or can I do this on my own?
A: Some of my tree service friends swear by using mycorrhizae and biostimulants but I’m not sure these products are the answer to every tree situation. Mycorrhizae are soil fungi that help tree roots absorb water and nutrients. If young trees are planted in poor soil, adding mycorrhizae may help their growth. If the soil under your trees is lacking in mycorrhizae (and how would you know??) your tree might be helped by inoculation…..or it might not. A cheaper and more natural way to add both fungi and biostimulants is to maintain a two inch thick layer of mulch out to the tips of the branches of each tree. Shredded leaves make an excellent and easily available oak tree mulch.