We focus a lot on tree trimming within our blogs, and for good reason. After all, that’s what we do! But every part of a tree must remain healthy in order for the whole tree to thrive. So this week, let’s switch gears and talk about your tree’s roots.
The roots of a tree hold it in place within the soil; strong roots mean a strong tree that is less likely to suffer damage. But of course, the primary function of a tree’s root system is to feed the tree. Roots absorb water and nutrients from the ground, and allow the tree to grow and flourish. Just as you need the proper amount of hydration and nutrients from your diet, so does a tree.
A tree’s roots remain shallow in most cases, at only 6 to 12 inches underground. But they spread far from the base of the tree, usually beyond the canopy. However, when we talk about caring for your tree’s roots, we’re mostly talking about the area around the base of the tree, extending outward a few feet.
So, how do you keep your tree’s roots healthy?
Mulch around the base of the tree. Apply a layer of mulch, several inches thick, around the base of the tree every spring. This will help to retain moisture in the soil and provide valuable nutrients.
Water your tree regularly. This is especially important in areas that receive lower amounts of rainfall, and for young trees that have yet to establish an extensive root system.
Allow oxygen to the roots. This advice might seem to run counter to the above tip. But too much water or compacted soil and mulch can be a bad thing. Allow the soil to dry between waterings, so that oxygen can penetrate to the roots of your tree. Overwatering is just as harmful and underwatering.
Try not to cut a tree’s roots. At times you will need to dig in your yard to perform landscaping tasks. But cutting into a tree’s root system can leave it vulnerable to disease and pests. If too many roots are damaged, the tree can become stressed, stop growing, or even die.
We hope these tips help you to keep your tree’s root system healthy. But even healthy trees need regular tree trimming in order to continue thriving. Give us a call if your tree begins to look overgrown, shaggy, misshapen, or unhealthy, and we’ll help you decide what to do next.