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The effective of tilage radish® to improve the growing medium for trees

Mayhew-Hammond, Shawn. 2011. Ryerson, M.Sc.

Abstract

Urban trees provide ecosystem services, the value of which is dependent on canopy coverage. However, canopy growth is often restricted by soil compaction. Compaction reduces plant access to important soil resources and mechanically impedes root growth. Bio-drilling plants offer an alternative approach to conventional remediation methods. The study evaluated the effectiveness of growing Tillage Radish® to remediate soil compaction and improve soil quality under established trees. The study plot was located in Guelph, Ontario. Soil data was collected before and after planting radish. Results indicated that 1) radish growth was limited by nutrients but not soil compaction. And, 2) Tillage Radish® reduced surface compaction in moderately to highly compact soils. Other soil characteristics did not change significantly. The results suggested that planting Tillage Radish® has potential to remediate compaction in the rooting zone of trees. However, fertilization may be necessary to maximize radish growth and its associated soil remediation benefits.