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Recognizing Root issues

Barring an infection of their leaves, most of the issues that trees have stem from unhealthy roots.  If you live in a house or spend time in an area surrounded by trees, it is just as important to understand the common issues with tree roots as it is to understand sickness and infection found in the leafy crowns.  Here are a few of the major root sicknesses:

Girdling Roots

“Girdling Roots” is the fancy term for roots that have begun to wrap around the tree trunk itself.  A tree’s nutrition moves up from its roots into its trunk and leaves.  When the roots wrap around the tree, it restricts the ability of the roots to feed the tree with the water and nutrients needed for them to survive.

Topsoil Roots

Most trees, especially in heavily wooded areas, are planted through natural processes.  An unfortunate byproduct of this is that some trees are either planted too close to other trees, planted too close to manmade structures, or planted above rock or super tough soil.  As a result, roots sometimes fail to penetrate deeply into the soil.  Trees in these situations can be dangerous, since the more shallow the roots’ depth, the greater chance for it to topple under strong winds or other inclement weather.

Too Much Soil

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s important to understand that root depth is generally more shallow that one might expect.  It may be bad if roots are poking out of the ground around a tree — as mentioned above — but it may also be bad if there is too much soil on top of a tree’s root system.  Most trees naturally dig their roots into the ground at a rate that is deep enough for it to stay into the ground, but shallow enough for them to breathe and absorb oxygen.  If there has been an increase in the amount of soil surrounding the trees near you, and if your trees show sign of sickness, this may be a reason why.

Roots Mingling with Construction

As you may expect, if tree roots run up against manmade structures or pavements such as roads, parking lots, sidewalks, or driveways, that’s bad for the tree.  Roots feed the tree by feeding it nutrients in the soil. If the roots are running against pavement or house foundation, not only is it bad for those structures, it can actually prevent the trees from sucking in all of the minerals it needs.

These are four of the biggest issues in dealing with tree roots.  If you suspect any of these issues, contact your local tree experts.  Most of the times, the trees can be salvaged or removed by professionals.

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