Here's the State champion pecan tree in Weatherford having
its root flare exposed with an air-spade. Moore Tree Care donated the work.
Root Flare Q & A with photos from Frank Maddy
This burr oak was not too deep compared to the others. Should I go deeper, what about the sucker root?
HG: This flare looks good now. If you are talking about the small root that appears to be crossing, remove it.
All these fruit trees were bare root and are in their 4th year. Peach tree #1 had some roots crossing over and choking at the trunk. The tree leans, should I expose the root flare on the covered side?
HG: Yes, this tree is still too deep in the ground.
Peach tree #2 appears to have several sucker roots above where the flare starts. Do I cut them off and go deeper? HG: Those are adventitious roots (false roots above the true flare). I would probably wait till fall to remove them.
Plum trees - I can not find a flare on either. There are sucker roots and swelling, but no roots that are choking the trunk. Do I go deeper and cut off the sucker roots?
HG: Yes and Yes.
Thanks. I listen to both shows and I could not believe how deep these trees were planted.
HG: Good work Frank. I wish all gardeners would do this. Next maybe we can get the growers to put the trees at the correct height in the containers.
QUESTION: I recently purchased a 5-gallon forest pansy redbud tree. I knew from listening to your radio show that the tree could possibly be planted too deeply in the pot, but I found that it was planted a good 5 or 6 inches above the crook in the stem where the graft was, and the root flare was a few inches below that. I went ahead and planted it at the root flare, leaving the graft and a good portion of the "wet" trunk exposed. But I was wondering if the root flare rules are the same when dealing with a grafted tree, or does the original trunk below the graft need to be in the ground? D.P., Savoy
ANSWER: You did the right thing. The root flare should always be exposed. The graft union being up in the air is no problem at all. Good job!