Roots have become a popular comparison for our heritage, our family structure, or where we’ve come from. We use metaphors to describe returning to a previous station in life by saying we are going back to our roots, or when we’ve planted ourselves somewhere new which we describe as taking root. For us, roots are the intangible link that tethers us to our families, or to the Earth. For trees and plants, however, that link is completely tangible. Roots are the complex system that allow trees and plants the stability to grow and thrive in their environment. With a deficient root system, the plant will not become bigger or stronger, it will simply fail. For this reason, root care is of the utmost importance to preserve the structure and life of the plant.While there are various problems that can take place with a complex system such as tree roots, there are four that are more common than others.

  • Root Disorders – A healthy root system should spread out through the top of the earth in which the tree is planted. A root needs water and oxygen to thrive and they get these essentials through straight growth. If a true root becomes bent or crooked, it will criss-cross around and underneath the tree, thus causing a competition between the tree and the root system. The issue can be regulated by a landscape professional, using specialized tools and expertise. Root excavation is not a remedy the average homeowner is equipped to perform, so leave it to the professionals.
  • Soil Compaction – If soil surrounding your tree becomes too tightly packed or impeded by exterior items, the tree’s root system will not get the oxygen required for it to grow properly. As a result of this syndrome, the tree will become unable to receive sufficient water, leaving it susceptible to drought stress and opening it up to be feasted on by various pests. There are several steps that can be taken to remedy this issue, but first allow a professional to diagnose the problem.
  • Nutrient and PH Issues – Sometimes trees don’t grow because of a lack of necessary nutrients, or a surplus. There is a delicate balance required in your soil to properly grow a tree, and if yours isn’t up to par, it can cause a tree to not take root properly. A proper pH balance in the soil must be maintained in order to achieve maximum growth potential. The pH of your soil can be easily determined prior to planting, and an appropriate choice that is ideal for your soil can be recommended. There are things that professionals can do to correct the problem if you soil isn’t ideal, but it is beneficial to know from the start where you stand.
  • Lack of Organic Matter – A tree in the forest has consistent access to the necessary items it needs to survive. These items include leaves, nutrients received from animal decay, and other trees. In a traditional yard landscape, trees are deprived of these necessary nutrients, and thus homeowners see less than stellar growth. While we try to protect trees from the elements, so they can grow, we don’t often satisfy their needs. Steps can be taken to increase your tree’s survival rates.

If you suspect your trees are suffering from any of these issues, or if you just can’t seem to keep them alive, we can help. Contact us today to diagnose and mitigate any potential issues with your soil or your root system.