We blog quite often about tree trimming and tree removal, but there’s more to tree health than removing unnecessary or damaged limbs. The tree’s roots are the foundation of their wellness, because they absorb water and vital nutrients from the soil. They also provide stability so that your tree remains upright and firmly attached to the ground.
So naturally, you want to keep your tree’s roots healthy. Taking these steps can help to prevent disease and damage that sometimes lead to unsightly sickness or even death.
Never cut a tree’s roots. If you’re performing landscaping work in the vicinity of a tree, try not to cut into its roots any more than necessary. You especially want to avoid larger roots, because cutting them can leave the tree vulnerable to infections and insects.
Avoid suffocating a tree’s roots. Roots need oxygen, so avoid any actions that can suffocate them. An occasionally deep watering is preferable to daily watering, because your tree’s roots need time to dry out somewhat in between. Also, avoid compacting mulch and soil tightly around the tree’s base.
Speaking of water… Yes, you do want to water your trees. This is especially true if you’re experiencing a drought, or if your tree is young and has not yet developed an extensive root system. Just remember to water deeply, but not daily.
Mulch around your tree. Mulch will help to retain moisture so that your tree’s roots have plenty to drink. In the winter, a layer of mulch protects roots from the cold. As it decomposes, mulch will also provide valuable nutrients to your tree and encourage healthy growth.
Care for exposed roots. Over time, erosion of the soil underneath your tree can expose the roots. Avoid running a lawnmower over them, as this will damage both the mower and the roots. You can cover exposed roots with about two inches of soil, keeping it at least six inches from the trunk to prevent trunk rot. Or, you can use an inch or two of mulch. Planting a ground cover is another popular option.
Luckily, none of that sounds overly complicated. Take care of your tree’s roots now, and you will probably experience fewer problems down the road. But do remember that tree trimming will also keep your tree healthy. Call us to schedule your regular trim, and ward off health problems before they have a chance to develop.