Looking to plant some new flowers near a tree on your property? Maybe you’re considering having a tree removed but are concerned about how deep or far the root system has grown. Or perhaps you’ve simply noticed some exposed roots when you were out cutting the grass last weekend. No matter your situation, it’s important to understand how a tree’s root system works in order to avoid harming the health of your tree. Check out our answers to some of the most common questions that homeowners just like you have about tree roots.
Q: How Far Does my Tree’s Root System Spread?
A: There’s a common misconception that a tree’s roots only grow to be as long as the tree’s branches, but this is rarely ever the case. Tree roots usually grow well beyond the extent of the tree’s branches and leaves. The motivation for their outward growth stems from their need to find nutrients and moisture, so it’s not uncommon for them to grow as long as the height of the tree.
Q: Do Deeply-Growing Tree Roots Make for a Healthier Tree?
A: If a tree has deep roots, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier than a tree with more shallow roots. Instead, it is often the roots within the top 3 inches of soil that are the ‘feeder roots’ that are able to gather the most moisture and nutrients for the tree. On the contrary, the top 3 inches of soil typically encompass the tree’s “feeder roots” with the proper amount of nutrients. It is because of this easier access to nutrients that the majority of a tree’s roots are located within the near-surface layers of the soil.
Q: Do All Trees Have Taproots?
A: The taproot is the central, dominant root in a plant from which other roots sprout laterally. This root grows directly downward and because damage to the taproot can cause premature plant death, transplanting must be handled with great caution. Most fruit and shade trees do not have taproots or only contain them during the seedling stage of growth. However, trees like pine, oak, hickory, and walnut do have taproots and should be transplanted carefully by a professional arborist.
Concerned About Tree Roots in Your Yard?
Whether you’re planning a landscaping project or are having difficulty maintaining your lawn, it’s best to have a professional arborist help you with any tree roots that are exposed. Rather than leaving your trees and their roots vulnerable to damage, you can rely on an expert to provide a yard-healthy solution. Nelson Tree Specialist is here for all of your tree needs, from regular care and maintenance to tree removal and specialty arborist services. Contact us today for more information.