Root Flare Management
This is a classic "buried tree" with no visible root flare at all.
Trees too deep in the ground, an all to common problem, have two basic problems. When the trunk flare in under ground, it stays moist and doesn't breathe properly as bark is supposed to do. The soil too high on the trunk also often hides circling and girdling roots, which choke the tree and drastically slow down growth. Trees grown in containers are highly subject to this damaging condition.
Excellent root flare on a lacebark elm.
"All choked-up Magnolia" Photos by Sandy Rose.
Above is an interesting group of pictures that show a recent Magnolia that we uncovered. It is one of the more dramatic examples of severe girdling roots. I was showing the tree to Sandy Rose and he actually took the pictures. Thanks Sandy! At our office, we are referring to this tree as the “poster child” for problem root flares. The work on the tree was done about a month or so ago. We will continue to monitor how it responds. I predict that we will be surprised at how quickly the depressed sections will fill in or rebound. This tree is sighing with relief and is saying “thank you”.
Here's the State Champion Pecan Tree in Weatherford having its root flare exposed with an air-spade.
Root Flare Q & A with photos from Frank Maddy
FM: Peach tree #2 appears to have several sucker roots above where the flare starts. Do I cut them off and go deeper?
FM: Plum trees - I cannot 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?
FM: Thanks. I listen to both shows, and I could not believe how deep these trees were planted.
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!
Additional Root Flare Information
Root Flare Advice
Root Flare Newsletter
Root Flare Exposure on Dirt Doctor's Trees Newsletter