It’s easy to forget things we can’t see. Trees grow from the roots up, and a healthy tree needs a lot of roots.

Do you know these amazing facts about tree roots?

  • Roots extend two to three times the height of the tree
  • Ninety-five percent of a tree’s roots are in the top three feet of soil
  • Ninety percent of the roots are in the top one inch!
  • Trees ‘breathe’ through their roots
  • They store nutrients in their roots which they can absorb when stressed

What damages your tree’s roots?

  • Soil compaction caused by traffic
  • Oxygen is cut off to the roots by paving
  • Excavating and digging during construction severs roots
  • Raising the soil level as little as two inches can smother roots
  • Lowering the grade by scraping soil removes important feeder roots
  • Too much or too little water

How you can protect your trees’ roots:

  • Proper planting is essential- neither too deep nor too shallow
  • Any construction has the potential to kill trees
  • Damage from soil compaction may not show up for several years
  • Never park or drive under your trees
  • Provide proper mulch to conserve water and help prevent compaction
  • Understand when and how to water
Image courtesy City of Austin.

Image courtesy City of Austin.

Damaging as little as 20% of the roots can cause problems and cutting 40% is likely to kill the tree.

We can help you develop a Tree Protection Plan and use equipment that can trench under roots instead of severing them. If leaves are scorching or wilting, root damage is often the cause. Heritage Tree Care can diagnose and treat your trees. We can provide soil aeration with specialized tools, deep irrigate and apply mulch. Even if damaged, we can often save your trees.

Written by Heritage Tree Care