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Roots are a critical part of a tree’s health and lifecycle. When neglected, unhealthy roots can lead to the need for complete tree removal. Too often roots are left ignored underground. Root health can have a significant impact on the overall health of a tree. While tree removal services are readily available, proper maintenance and care can extend the lives of trees everywhere when done properly.

Tree roots can extend two to three times further than the tree’s branches, creating a potential space issue for those planting and managing the trees. While most root systems are found anywhere from 18” to 24” underground, the size and length of tree roots can differ greatly from species to species. In some cases, the roots of trees can grow to an immense size at the surface level, creating a hazardous situation for both the tree itself and those around it.

From playing children to low-cutting lawn mowers, there are many different hazards that can have a damaging effect on the root system and overall health of any tree. The following are some of the most common hazards to consider when planting or protecting a tree:


All animals interact with trees in different ways. When it comes to root damage, dogs capable of digging can be the most dangerous. Be wary of dogs that like to dig, as underground roots can look easily look like a bunch of satisfying sticks to your four-legged friend. If your dog does find a way to dig up the roots of a tree, do your best to replant the root system. Cover it sufficiently with soil before adding a splash of water. In the case of an especially stubborn pet, consider covering the roots with mulch or another protective medium.

Soil Compaction

Whether from foot traffic or landscaping vehicles, soil compaction can have a negative impact on the roots of any tree or plant system. Irrigating soil surrounding the tree’s root system has the potential to improve the growth and health of the tree. You will have to be careful with the roots themselves. Most machine irrigators are far too aggressive to be used anywhere near a root system, and should be avoided wherever roots could be hidden. If soil compaction is an issue, consider using a manual irrigation tool to alleviate smaller soil compaction issues. Consider removing oil compacted soil and replacing it with fresh soil and fertilizer to stimulate healthy tree growth.

Landscaping Damage

Whether driving a lawnmower, operating a weed-whacker, or cutting a clean edge along a flower garden, there are several tools that have the potential to accidentally damage a tree’s root structure. While it’s important to be careful around any living thing, landscaping mistakes are bound to happen.

It’s important to plant mulch around the base of the tree’s root system to provide it with protection. Protective barriers may also be necessary for situations where the potential for damage is higher, especially high-traffic areas that require constant maintenance.

Trees with healthy and established root systems can live to stand decades, however a tree’s root system is only as strong as the ground it is secured to. Arborists must be careful to provide trees and their roots with the right environment to avoid a rushed call for tree removal services after a heavy storm. With a little care and preparation, you can help maintain the strength and health of your trees for years to come.

Looking for a Tree Removal Service? Call Harmony Tree Services Today

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to save a tree when nature has its way. If you are looking for a tree removal service, call Harmony Tree Service today. We specialize in tree removal, pruning, planting, and a wide range of landscaping services. We can help you remove a dead tree and plant a new one in its place.