Biochar and its Potential as an Arboricultural Amendment

2010 | Bryant C. Scharenbroch, Ph.D., The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL

The research will identify appropriate application rates and procedures for urban tree management with biochar. This research will consider economic and social aspects of biochar as an urban tree care amendment compared to other current practices.

Study Conclusion

This study found that biochar and biosolids are acceptable, and possibly preferable, soil improvement mulching materials compared with more commonly applied materials (nitrogen fertilizer, compost, wood chips, and aerated compost tea). Biosolids and biochar applied to urban landscapes would not only divert materials from landfills but also improve soil quality and tree growth.

Year: 2010

Funding Duration: 3-5 years

Grant Program: Hyland R. Johns

Grant Title: Biochar and its Potential as an Arboricultural Amendment

Researcher: Bryant Scharenbroch

Key words:

Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:

  • Sax, M.S. and Scharenbroch, B.C., 2017. Assessing Alternative Organic Amendments as Horticultural Substrates for Growing Trees in Containers. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 35(2), pp.66-78.
  • Scharenbroch, Bryant C., Meza, Elsa N., Catania, Michelle, and Fite, Kelby. 2013. Biochar and Biosolids Increase Tree Growth and Improve Soil Quality for Urban Landscapes. Journal of Environmental QualityView the Publication >

General Audience/Trade Publications:


For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at