UKTC Archive

Re: Measuring soil compaction / density

Subject: Re: Measuring soil compaction / density
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Apr 13 2018 15:24:44
Especially in "modern" development sites, be cautious about buried
electrical utilities. Non-conductive rods are better, but one of mine is
steel. Another has plastic handles. I have a pair of heavy rubber gloves.

We have a similar problem with developments here in the US. We cut off
mountain-tops, bury the resulting rubble in our canyons, and compact it to
ASTM standards for structural fill--essentially impenetrable to water and
roots. I have taken to suggesting the addition of at least a few feet of
soil after providing for lateral subsurface drainage, and where trees are
to be located, to a sufficient depth to permit the development of a
"healthy, normal, safe" root system. Roots do have the habit of going down;
only if something stops them, are they confined to the near surface--of
course they grow laterally too, because they grow everywhere conditions are
sufficient for growth. In Brittan, you probably have far different
conditions.

Wayne

On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 2:20 AM, Rupert Baker <rupert_baker@xxxxxxxx.co.uk>
wrote:

Dear Paul,
some time ago I bought a dickey-john penetrometer; I also have a 1m thin
stainless steel, pointed, rod with a cross-handle, which I use in the same
way - push into ground to assess compaction; having a  narrower point than
the penetrometer, it is useful for more compact soils.  Points to remember
- the density as measured by such devices depends on soil moisture content;
it is probably pointless trying to get absolute measurements, rather than
comparative ones; and I have found them to be only occasionally useful, for
specific situations - eg to try and map where an area of compaction may
have developed.  Go onto a modern development site and try pushing one into
a 'garden plot' and you'll find a nice soft layer of imported topsoil over
heavy compaction....
All the best

Rupert

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:uktc-request@lists.
tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Paul Barton
Sent: 12 April 2018 12:51
To: UK Tree Care <uktc@xxxxxx.tree-care.info>
Subject: Measuring soil compaction / density

Dear all,

I am looking to improve my ability to glean site specific information
about soils to better inform my judgments.  Does anyone use a soil
penetrometer or similar to assess soil compaction or density?  There are a
few devices on the market, normally via agricultural or pitch care
suppliers but I am unsure what the best and most useful solution is.  For
example, some simple penetrometers give a pressure reading in PSI but soil
density values in relation to inhibiting root growth are published in
g/cm2.  There are some online converters available but I want to be sure I
am measuring the right thing!

I’d be grateful to hear about any experience you have in assessing soils.

Kind regards,

Paul Barton
MSc, BSc (Hons), Tech.Cert (Arbor.A) M.Arbor.A

Director | Barton Hyett Associates Ltd
Website: www.barton-hyett.co.uk
Tel: 01386 XXXXXX <//01386 XXXXXX>
Mobile: 07765 XXXXXX <//07765 XXXXXX>

Office 5E, Deer Park Business Centre, Eckington, Pershore, Worcestershire,
WR10 3DN


Member no: PR989

Company Reg No: 7110670 Registered in England and Wales.



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