Most tree owners know that in order to help your trees thrive, they need good fertilization, adequate moisture throughout the year, and routine tree pruning to prevent breakage. However, a significant, but often overlooked, component to maintaining year-round tree health is to properly care for your tree’s root collar area. Proper care of your tree’s root collar can mean the difference between a thriving, strong tree and a damaged, dead tree that has to be removed from your property.
For those unfamiliar with the root collar of a tree, it is the area where the tree trunk and tree roots meet, usually indicated by an outward flare of major roots. Although it is not a large section of the tree, root collar disorders are primarily responsible for many tree ailments and tree problems a tree could encounter in its lifetime. Because of the root collar’s importance to the overall health of the tree, it is critical to understand how best to care for this sensitive area, as well as problems to avoid.
Root collars are important to tree health because they directly impact the tree’s intake of nutrients, oxygen and water. For this reason, tree root collars should be visible and not be buried under soil or mulch. A buried root collar can lead to root dieback, reduced water absorption, nutrient and oxygen deficiency, and ultimately tree death. In addition, a root collar disorder can also make the tree more vulnerable to tree diseases or invasive insects, also leading to tree damage or tree death. A weakened or damaged root collar area makes the tree less likely to survive tree stress during drought conditions or severe weather.
Trees with buried root collars are easy to spot because there is no flare at the base of the tree. A tree with no visible root collar flare will eventually begin to have roots that girdle, or choke, the base of the tree underneath the soil, and the tree will display signs of distress such as yellowing foliage, dieback on the upper crown, and early leaf drop or discoloration.
If you are concerned about the tree root collars on your residential property, contact the Certified Arborists of Embark Services for a thorough analysis of your tree health. Embark Services’s team of tree care specialists utilize state-of-the-art equipment to gently remove compacted soil or mulch from the root collar area, and then assess the tree for any girdling roots, tree diseases or insect invasions that might also compromise the tree health. The Certified Arborists can also perform deep root fertilization and tree pruning to help stabilize and improve tree health, to ensure many years of lasting tree health. Embark Services is Houston’s premiere tree care service company, and can help protect and improve the health and vitality of your residential property for years to come. Request a consultation with their Certified Arborists, or contact Embark Services directly for more information.