Adequate soil drainage, or lack of adequate drainage (also called soil saturation) is influenced by soil texture (percent of sand, silt and clay) and soil structure (arrangement of soil particles). Available pore space is greatly reduced in compacted soil. Porosity directly affects soil drainage. Porosity is influential to the amount of water and oxygen available for root uptake. Oxygen deficiency appears to be the most important environmental factor causing stress, reduced growth, injury and death to trees and other plants in saturated soils. Often times clay soil is too compact and restricts water penetration and root growth. Yet sweet gum will tolerate poorly drained, clay soils that might kill other trees.
Winter planting should begin with the selection of species adapted to your site and climate!
Check out our tree planting resources on American Grove to learn to navigate all soil types.