Because they live below ground, roots are often ignored and
sometimes abused. They are a common concern for many people because, without
proper care, tree roots can threaten to lift sidewalks, invade flower beds, and
damage foundations. Oftentimes, it seems that the simplest solution is to cut
or remove inconvenient roots, but keep in mind that, even though you can’t
always see them, roots play an important role in the life of a tree.
the ground basics:
- Tree roots absorb nutrients and water from the
- Large roots anchor the tree into the ground to
prevent it from blowing over in the wind
- Most roots live just 6-12 inches below ground
and extend far beyond the width of the tree’s canopy
- Cutting tree roots can cause stress to a tree
and can leave it vulnerable to disease or insect attack
are some tips to help you keep your roots healthy and safe:
- During dry months, mature trees need to be
watered deeply. Learn about your tree’s water needs and how to water deeply in
our Watering Guide.
- Roots need oxygen. By allowing soil to dry for
several days between watering, oxygen can make its way to the roots. Avoid
piling new soil or compacting the ground underneath the tree. This can
suffocate the roots that absorb oxygen close to the surface.
mulch underneath the tree to protect the roots and provide some
extra moisture and nutrients.
- Keep flowers, ground covers, and other plants
away from the base of the tree. Digging and extra watering for these plants can
damage tree roots that live 6-12 inches below the surface.
- If you cannot avoid disturbing the roots, it is
less stressful on the tree during the late fall and winter
- Plant new trees with plenty of space for future
roots to grow.
- Consult a Certified Arborist if you have
trouble with tree roots or are considering removing roots. Learn how to hire a reliable tree care company.
Remember that, even though you can’t see them, roots are working to keep your tree healthy, strong, and anchored into the ground. Be sure to keep them safe and consult a Certified Arborist before disturbing your tree’s intricate root system.