Glossary

Bulk Density

Bulk Density is the mass of a unit volume of soil, which includes solids and pore(air) spaces. A soil that has a high bulk density is often compacted.

Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)

CEC is the measure of how many negatively charged sites are available in your soil. This dictates the soils ability to hold and release various elements and compounds. Cations are positively charged particles such as calcium and potassium; they in turn are attracted to these negatively charged sites. Soils high in organic matter (which also have a high CEC value) contain numerous sites for these cations to attach. This is how a soil retains nutrients, and allows plants to uptake them and without this, nutrients would simply wash away from rain or irrigation.
(Note: This is a simplification of CEC, it is a very involved concept.)

Co-dominant Stems

When trees are young they sometimes have two main leads or trunks. If left they continue to grow together and eventually form what is known as included bark where they meet in the middle. This area of included bark is not really attached to each other and without cabling to reduce weight load, they can eventually break apart, one or both halves splitting apart.

Compost

Compost is a combination of different organic materials, such as leaves and grass that have been decomposed through heat, oxygen, and various microbes and small insects. In general, compost provides many nutrients and enriches your overall soil structure and texture, but beware some composts are actually high in ammonium and anaerobic. High ammonium concentrates can actually acidify your soil, altering your pH and making nutrients less available to your plants. One of the main components in creating compost is the flow of oxygen. When compost is anaerobic, microbes and insects that are responsible for the decomposition cannot survive leaving the compost unfinished. Awareness of these factors is why Organically Green uses only premium compost that is tested to ensure its high quality.

Feeder Roots

Feeder roots are actually very tiny non-woody roots that grow off the larger woody roots. Since they usually absorb a large amount of the water and nutrients needed, they need a healthy soil to flourish. The decrease in these roots can lead to signs of stress in your trees and shrubs.

Humates

Humates are composed of humic and fulvic acids, these acids are derived from years of decomposed plant and animal materials. Humates help increase the cation exchange capacity, water retention and help to aerate the soil.

Macro/Micro Nutrients

Macronutrients are the nutrients that are required by plants in greater quantities; they include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. Micronutrients are equally important to plants but required in smaller doses and/or concentrations; they include Chlorine, Iron, Boron, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Nickel and Molybdenum.

Mycorrhizae

Mycorrhizae is a fungus that forms a symbiotic relationship with your plants' roots, greatly aiding in the uptake of water and nutrients.

Thatch

Thatch is the build-up dead and dying roots and other plant tissues. A small amount of thatch can actually be beneficial to turf but when it accumulates excessively it can actually restrict water, oxygen and the nutrient flow to turf roots.

Winter Burn

Winter burn is a browning or death of leaf tissues.