Fairy Ring Tree Care

Tree Care Tips

Root Decline


Problems with a tree or shrubs roots can cause these plants to decline or in worst case scenario die. If a plant’s root structure declines the homeowner usually cannot correct the factors in time to save the tree or shrub. Root decline can occur rapidly or over a period of weeks or months.


A tree or shrubs roots need a good balance of air and water in their soil environment. In order for healthy growth of the roots there must be a good exchange between the soil and the atmosphere above the ground. Excess compaction or an overly wet soil causes poor oxygen exchange between the roots that in turn limits their growth. More times than not a homeowner will see some leaf wilt and think this is due to not enough moisture and will continue to water excessively. This only compounds the problem as the roots are already saturated and in turn reduces the supply of soil oxygen for the roots. The homeowner can alleviate many of these problems by knowing which plants are susceptible to these problems caused by wet or compacted soil. By probing around the plant you can find out if the soil conditions are affecting your plant’s root growth. By looking for compacted or overly wet soil in and around your trees and shrubs will go a long way in averting this type of damage.


Soil: Low oxygen levels in the soil because of being wet constantly is the number one factor in causing root decline. The soil remains wet because of being compacted and or poor drainage on the surface. By shifting water away from these problem areas you may be able to save the plant. If the plant is severely damaged over a long period of time by these conditions, it may not be possible to save the plant.

SITE: By planting your trees and shrubs in areas affected by shade you slow down the soils ability to dry out. Ensure you use plants suited for these shady, wet conditions. Also by planting your trees or shrubs at an improper depth, you restrict the amount of oxygen the roots can utilize. Changes in your landscape can also affect your root structure. Paving of new sidewalks can seriously affect the plants roots and cause root decline.

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