Learn the Importance of Root Collar Excavation

Trees represent a long term investment in any homeowner or business owner’s landscape–not just monetarily, but also time. Because trees are expensive to replace, and are time-intensive, the best strategy is to take care of the trees you have. For example, if you have older trees with years of debris and mulch at their bases, you may be inviting disease and eventual tree death into your landscape. A root collar excavation saves your trees and protects them for years.


What Is Root Collar Excavation?

During a root collar (Collar Root) excavation, an arborist examines your tree, and looks for signs of damage or disease. Then, landscapers or tree experts can use compressed air to gently remove mulch, debris and even some topsoil from around the base of your tree. This tree root excavation allows the tree root collar to have room to grow properly, without debris, soil, or mulch weighing it down. Once landscapers remove dirt from around the tree trunk, you should be able to watch that tree beautify your landscape for years.


Why Do I Need To Worry About The Collar Rot On My Tree?

There are several reasons you need to worry about the health of your tree, especially if it has been part of your landscape for a while. There are some properties with a natural stand of trees, especially in rural or even suburban areas. However, many of the trees on your home or business property were placed there by a landscaper for their beauty.

Over time, either because the tree was planted too deeply, or because of constant mulching and the yearly leaf-dropping, a layer of debris, soil, and mulch builds up around your tree, which may prevent your tree from reaching its full potential, and may even cause disease. That’s because when there is a layer of dirt on the tree roots, they may have trouble accessing the nutrients they need to thrive.

Worst of all, the tree roots may begin to grow around the base of the tree, looking for water and nutrients. This is also called girdling of a tree. Over time, as the roots wrap tighter around the base of the tree, they act to cut the tree off from air and nutrients completely, which will kill the tree.

 Tree root collar

What Are Some Signs My Tree May Be In Trouble?

If you are concerned that one or more of your trees may be in trouble from issues at the base of the tree, there are some signs you can look for.

●    Signs that your tree is too wet at the bottom, which would include decomposing bark, yellowing or wilted leaves, and fungus, mushrooms or moss at the base of your tree.

●    Roots that are popping up around the base of the tree and making a circle around the tree trunk.

●    Cracks that appear close to the base of the tree.

●    A tree trunk that appears bowed, warped, or bulging.

●    One bulging area that continues to expand. This is most likely a disease called tree canker. It will eventually kill the tree.

●    Phytophthora root rot, which appears at the base of your tree, and causes the tree to appear to be drought stressed. Over time, root rot, which is a fungal infection will kill a tree.

Any time a tree is diseased, it is more susceptible to insects feasting on the fungi of disease, as well as falling due to high winds or weather. The sooner you work to excavate your tree through a root collar excavation, the better.


Can you Do it Yourself?

If it’s just a matter of blowing debris from the base of the tree, I can do that, right?

While there are a lot of things you can do yourself to improve the look of your landscape at your home or business, working around the base of the tree when you don’t know what you’re doing can cause more harm than good.

Landscapers and trained arborists have air spades, which use compressed air to gently and safely remove debris from the base of the trunk. It also allows them to see if there are any girdling roots wrapping around your tree. Arborists are trained to remove roots from the base of the tree without harming the tree itself. Unless you have specific training as an arborist, you will not be sure that the roots you may trim away won’t kill the tree.


Save your Trees Today!

While having too much dirt, mulch and debris covering your tree roots can cause problems in your landscape, there are actions you can take. You can give a landscaping company a call, and let them come out and take a look at your trees. Once they have determined whether or not your trees are healthy, you can relax and enjoy your trees. If there is a problem, and it is caught early, a good arborist and landscaping team, like CLC, Inc. can work to save your trees.

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