Root Collar Excavation & Vertical Mulching
Creating a Foundation for Growth
When the flare at the bottom of a tree’s trunk, also known as the root collar, is buried – either by planting the tree too deeply or from the common practice of excessive mulching – the tree’s health can suffer. Root collar excavation and vertical mulching are immediate and effective solutions that encourages proper tree growth and overall wellness.
TreeTech provides expert root collar excavation and vertical mulching services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Our Certified Arborists have years of experience and knowledge in diagnosing and treating root collar disorders.
What is a Root Collar Excavation?
Root Collar Excavation is the process of removing excess soil and mulch from the base of a tree. This is done to view the structure of the roots, investigate the extent of decay present around the base of the tree, and create a more favorable environment for tree and plant roots to thrive.
A tree’s root collar is the area where the roots join the main stem or trunk. This area is where the trunk flares out and enters the soil then transitions into the major roots. When trees are planted too deep, their roots cannot get the oxygen they need and therefore grow around the trunk of the tree and ultimately may girdle the lower trunk of the tree.
Girdling roots can restrict the movement of water, plant nutrients and stored food reserves. Over time, growth of the tree’s branches are slowed, leaves become smaller and lighter in color, fewer leaves are produced, and eventually branches will begin dying back. Death of the entire plant or tree can occur anywhere from one to twenty years. However, root girdling can be prevented in vulnerable trees with root collar excavation.
What is Vertical Mulching?
Vertical Mulching is the process of making a series of vertical holes in the soil, usually where fill soil has been added over roots or where compaction with heavy equipment has occurred over the roots. The once-restricted root is then able to grow into these holes to freely exchange needed gases with the atmosphere — for trees, this is as essential as breathing is to us. Vertical mulching also lessens damage due to excessive water, preserves necessary aeration during wet periods, allows sub-soil water penetration during dry periods, and promotes the formation of fine feeder roots.
TreeTech performs vertical mulching by using a pneumatic tool, called an Air Spade. This is a non-invasive technique to expose a tree’s root system, trunk base, or to aerate the soil withing the tree’s root zone. Vertical mulching loosens the soil within the tree’s dripline to improve both the oxygenation and water drainage of the soil which encourages better root growth and development and overall tree health. This is great for any tree but is especially useful for stressed trees. Combine vertical mulching with the addition of compost and a root stimulation program and watch your tree grow!
While root collar disorders are not always easy to identify to an untrained eye, catching these problems early and undergoing root collar excavation in a timely manner can increase your tree’s ability to live a healthier and longer life in your landscape.
Symptoms of root collar disorders include:
- Yellowing foliage
- Infection of the bark at the base of the trunk
- Early leaf coloration
- Dieback in the upper crown of tree
- Overall reduced growth
If left untreated, secondary invaders, such as canker fungi and insect borers, often take over trees stressed by root collar problems. These cankers may cause sunken areas near the soil line.
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Serving the Dallas Metroplex