Healthy Tree Roots Lead To Healthy, Thriving Trees

Often trees are planted incorrectly, frequently too deep or with excessive mulch piled against the trunk. This can lead to girdling roots, poor growth, pest problems, health decline, or even tree death.

Root collar excavation is a professional removal of soil and mulch from against the tree’s trunk. It is a simple and effective process that an arborist uses to help correct these issues and ensure proper root protection.

When necessary, root pruning and the use of specialized supersonic air tools are also used to preserve the health of a tree.

Above Ground Tree Roots

Can You Cut Tree Roots Above Ground?

It all depends on the size and location of the tree root.

As a guideline, you should avoid pruning roots more than 2 inches wide or roots close (or fused) to the tree trunk since these are critical to the tree’s structure.

Removing large tree roots can make the tree unstable or unhealthy later. And there is never a guarantee that cutting tree roots will harm or kill the tree.

Reminder, your best course of action is to consult with your local arborist before removing any tree roots.

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Girdling Roots

It Looks Like Roots Are Strangling My Tree!

Your tree may have fallen victim to Girdling roots.

Girdling roots, which grow around another root or trunk, create pressure and “choke” or compress water and nutrient conductive tissues.

Here are some common girdling root tree symptoms:

  • Reduced canopy growth or thin crown
  • Early fall coloration or early defoliation, often on one side
  • Flattened appearance at trunk base or lack of trunk flare
  • Roots circling the trunk at, or just below, ground level

Girdling roots can be found on many tree species, but maples and lindens seem most susceptible. There are many factors to be considered if you should remove girdling roots.

Tree In Standing Water

Is Too Much Water A Threat To Roots?

When torrential downpours collect puddles of standing water near the bases of tree trunks, problems may occur above and below ground.

Long periods of continuous rain can fill the soil pores, stopping roots from getting adequate oxygen supply and threatening the overall health of a tree.

There are a few things you can do to give your trees a better chance at recovering from excessive water damage:

  • Avoid watering until the tree absolutely needs hydration.
  • Hold off on fertilizer until the soil drains the excess water.
  • Monitor through the next growing season for changes in overwatering symptoms.

As always, if you're not sure what to look for, you can ask a certified arborist to inspect your trees.

Davey Experience Arborist

Certified Arborists & An Accredited Company

Our certified tree doctors are committed to you and the health and safety of your trees. ISA Certified Arborists have taken the opportunity to further their education and apply their advanced skills to every client interaction.

Davey is also recognized as an accredited tree care company. Our TCIA accreditation represents our position as a tree service company committed to safety, expertise and professionalism.

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