Tree roots serve 3 primary functions
- to absorb and transport water and minerals
- to anchor and support the tree
- to store nutrients, food, and other resources needed for tree growth and health
Common ways roots can be damaged
- Drought conditions can cause roots to dry out which leads to dieback and eventually can lead to decay and/or rot.
- Construction activity can damage roots by physically cutting or breaking them.
- Soil compaction around or near a tree by vehicles, construction equipment, pedestrians, and material storage can damage tree roots and reduce pore space (air spaces) in the soil for water and oxygen which are very important for overall root and tree health.
- The smallest roots, or “fine” roots, are the first to be damaged; fine roots actively absorb water and nutrition.
How can I keep tree roots healthy?
- Water trees during dry periods (drought) and during hot stretches in the summer. In 2021 we experienced periods of drought, while low precipitation totals this winter means this growing season is already starting with lower soil moisture than typical.
- Periodic treatments with Bio Root Stimulants to help promote fine root growth and reduce stress; this is a specific fertilization method that is focused on overall root and tree health.
- Protect trees from construction and heavy landscaping activity by establishing a “Tree Protection Zone” (TPZ) around the tree and root zone. Contact your arborist to discuss where, when, and how to establish a TPZ.