If your tree was screaming for help, would you hear it?
June 9, 2014
We are really tough on our urban trees. Often, they're suffering right before our eyes, but we just don't see the signs. In the photo below, this tree is trying to tell its owners it has a serious problem. Can you see the signs?
Trees need a healthy root system to survive and thrive. When we surround our tree with concrete sidewalks, driveways, new home construction or other hardscape, we may be cutting off much of our tree's ability to sustain itself. The tree in the photo has been subjected to a number of abuses: Compacted soil (most likely from continual blower usage), what appears to be previously installed edging or stone border around the base of the tree (you can still see one around the tree in the background), and concrete dividers that are cutting off its root system.
In a desperate attempt to stabilize itself, the tree has pushed out its roots over the concrete; but as you can see the tree is already leaning. The roots that stabilize a tree and help keep it balanced stretch out far beyond the canopy of the tree. With rare exceptions, trees do not have large tap roots that secure them in place. They rely on wide spreading shallow roots to help them keep their balance. When you cut off or constrict these roots, trees can become unstable and go into decline.
If your tree is suffering from a similar type of root constriction, give us a call to evaluate the situation. We can help mitigate construction damage and also aerate safely around roots to alleviate soil compaction.