Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Storms take out weak trees
My community just recently experienced some damaging storms. Our City prides itself on it’s lovely flora but after seeing six 8 to 10 inch diameter Linden trees along a boulevard snap, well, I had to take a look.
What I found were massively girdled roots and the remnants of plastic tubing around the base of each tree.
One of the culprits to the girdled roots was plastic tubing placed around the base of the tree when it was young to “protect” it from the lawn mower…
The roots that take in nutrients for the tree are at the surface and that tubing essentially squished them down, so they compensated by trying to grow up the plastic and then rung themselves around the tube in a circle. Strangling themselves. The tree may look like it’s fine for years but it’s actually growing weaker.
Roots that go down are mostly for anchoring although some also get more water that way but nutrients are taken in by those surface roots. That’s another reason to NOT bury your trees in more soil and plant on top of their dripline. It will die much quicker.