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Planting Trees

How Can You Prevent Damage to Your Tree Roots?

nature forest moss leaves roots

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding trees is how to prevent your tree’s roots being damaged and what is the best way to manage them. Below are some of the most common tips we give to tree-owners on how to care for the roots and surrounding grounds.

Plan Before You Plant

Trees are tough plants and their roots fight back against man-made obstacles surrounding them. In urban areas, tree roots are often forced to grow between buildings and under driveways and pavements. As they grow, the tree roots can potentially cause damage to properties by breaking walls and pipes so when planting trees, it’s best to keep in mind that depending on how tall the tree will grow, the further away from any buildings or pavements it needs to be. Medium to large trees should ideally be planted at least 10 feet from any buildings or other structures.

  • Small trees can reach 20 feet at maturity.
  • Medium trees can reach between 20 to 40 feet at maturity.
  • Large trees are 40+ feet at maturity.

Trees should be planted at least 2 feet away from any structures regardless of how big the tree will grow. However, to minimise damage to any structures then trees should be allowed at least 8 feet to grow.

How to Fix the Problem?

Some people deal with intrusive tree roots by grinding them down or removing them but this can be expensive and cause serious lasting damage to the tree. If you injure a tree’s roots then it creates a point of entry for bacteria, leaving it vulnerable to diseases.

Also, if you cut the major roots of a tree then it vastly reduces the tree’s ability to take in water nutrients, making it more susceptible to drought. Removing these roots also weakens the tree’s structural support meaning that it is more likely to pose a risk of falling over in high winds. So, if you are planning on dealing with a tree that’s causing you problems then just keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid cutting any roots that are over 2 inches in diameter
  • Remember roots recover a lot better from being severed when you cut them cleanly with a saw, mulch and water them after pruning, then fertilise them in Spring

How Can You Avoid Damaging Your Tree When Planting?

Make sure you’re planting your trees at good enough depths as you’ll find that surface roots are extremely common in trees that weren’t planted deep enough, which are obviously not healthy for the trees or their surrounding areas.

These surface roots become even more noticeable when the trees have been planted close to a pavement or a driveway. The roots will start to lift the pavement, resulting in an uneven surface which will present a safety risk to the general public and yourselves. Surface roots are also vulnerable to potential freeze damage during the winter so make sure you avoid encouraging surface roots to rise.

If you do have a tree with surface roots, then the best way to avoid damaging them with a lawnmower or with trimmers is to lightly mulch between the roots.

Deciding What to Plant

When deciding what trees to plant, (you can use our website for ideas on types of trees that may be suitable for you) you need to consider which trees will cause minimal damage. Since the health of trees is put at risk when their roots are severed or damaged, anything you can do to reduce the damage that will be potentially be caused by your tree to surrounding areas will also benefit the tree.

In areas that are within 5 to 7 feet of a pavement or another structure, you should only plant trees that grow to a maximum height of 30 metres. You should also only plant trees that grow to a maximum height of 50 metres in areas that are within 7 to 10 feet of a pavement or structure. Also, before you plant, you should check for any overhead lines and decide where to plant accordingly so as to leave enough room for the tree to grow to maximum height.

The Telegraph have a great list of what trees are best for smaller gardens right here.

Get in Touch

If you need more advice on to how to prevent damage to your tree roots or what trees would be most suitable for you then get in touch with our team on 0161 456 0989 or 01625 850 320.

Keeping Your Trees Hydrated This Summer

Keeping Your Trees Hydrated This Summer

As we are experiencing some lovely hot weather at the moment, we thought it would be great to let you know how to keep your trees hydrated all year round.

With all of the hot weather we are having, and we are not complaining, it really matters to take care of your trees and other greenery. The extreme heat and droughts we have been having can really play havoc with the overall health and growth of your trees. So, our professional team are on hand to offer some assistance to keep your trees nourished and healthy throughout the summer.

Cooler Mornings, Hotter Nights

As you will be aware, the only time period of brief coolness you will get will be most likely in the mornings. The nights are getting much hotter as the sun starts to set and with the colder mornings, there is less chance of evaporation so your trees can get as much moisture as possible.

Watering your trees in the early mornings gives them a much higher chance of soaking up all the nutrients and the majority of the water making its way to the roots rather than sitting on the surface. If you can’t make the mornings, choose another cool point of the day like early evenings but always make sure the leaves are dry before nightfall to avoid various fungi forming.

Don’t Over-Do the Water

It is absolutely vital that you don’t overdo the water supply when watering your trees. Although you might think a massive tree will need a massive amount of water, you could end up drowning your growths if you’re not careful.

Too much water can drown the roots of any tree but at the same time, not enough water can dehydrate the tree. Those trees that are over-watered are also more likely to attract certain bugs, insects and diseases which is something we are looking to avoid over the warmer months.

We stick to the general rule of green thumb that every 3 days or so you should lightly water your trees with around 4 gallons of water a time. However, individual trees may need more attention than others, such as larger trees or smaller fragile ones needing less. Make sure you always check the soil below the tree and try to not oversaturate the area or make it too soggy.

Top signs of overwatered trees include yellow leaves, water-soaked blisters and even sour smells.

New Trees vs. Old Trees

If you have recently just planted new trees and they are still rooting in your garden, the summer weather will ensure that you should water these at least 3 times a week. You will need to avoid the roots drying out in the heat and the soil will need to be kept moist to encourage growth and healthy maturation.

Your older trees will already be deep-rooted into the ground but they could still have new roots just below the surface. Make sure that you are careful watering the ground and be conscious of not drowning the surface for the roots underneath will not be able to cope.

Remember to Use Mulch

We love using mulch, especially in summer, due to its nutritional values and extra support for all sorts of trees. The mulch acts as a smart barrier for insects and diseases at the same time as insulating the soil to give your trees the moisture they need at all times.

The mulch will retain water, keep away weeds and prevent the compaction of soil around the root of the trees. One note we will make is to always avoid the mulch actually touching the base of the tree so that the roots are never blocked from getting the water they need.

Gardening Know How said that “One of the best benefits of any mulch is its ability to retain moisture in the soil”, which is was we definitely need in these higher temperatures.

Get in Touch

To get in touch for more support around caring for your trees in this hot weather, call us on 0161 456 0989.