There are specific situations in the Urban Forest that we encounter when your Urban Forest Arborist will recommend a Root Collar Excavation (RCX) service. Many times when we are planning to help a declining tree the “root” of the problem is below the ground. 

Situations when a Root Collar Excavation (RCX) might be recommended:

  • The need to expose lower trunks and roots without damaging the tree.
  • Ability to complete a more thorough inspection and diagnosis. 
  • To apply soil amendments and enhancers below ground into the root system faster.
  • Decompacting hard urban soils.
  • Expose the buried root flare of the lower trunk on a tree that was planted too deep.
  • Complete proper root pruning of girdling roots that will harm the tree.


Mulching urban forest trees is one of the most overlooked tree care services or completed incorrectly by the unknowing homeowner and landscaper that we encounter. Your Urban Forest Arborist will provide recommendations for the trees on your site if proper mulching would be beneficial or applicable.

Problems caused by improper mulching and what to look for:

  • Mulch touching the trunk of the tree.
  • Volcano-shaped mulch rings.
  • Trunk and root decay.
  • A decline in the upper canopy (dieback).
  • Girdling and adventitious rooting.
  • Herbicide damage.
  • Mower and string trimmer damage to the lower trunk.

Benefits of proper mulching and what to look for:

  • No mulch in contact with the trunk.
  • Level mulch rings with 2-4” depth of mulch evenly applied.
  • Dry healthy lower trunk tissue.
  • Healthy root systems.
  • Regulates root zone temperatures.
  • Healthy full tree canopy.
  • Keep mowers and string trimmers away.
  • Improves moisture retention and reduces drought stress.
  • Promotes healthier soil biology in the critical root zone.


There are many things that can be done by the homeowner to help ensure healthy trees and landscaping. Visit our learning center for techniques and tips that you can use at home.


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