Why it’s important to prune tree roots before planting

This week I discovered that one of our center’s landscape trees is ready to bite the dust. I was sad – but also happy.  It’s a wonderful teaching moment and if the tree has to give up its life to save others, I guess that’s okay.

As the video will show you, this Japanese maple was planted some years ago with a root circling the trunk.  As both the trunk and root have developed in girth, we’ve reached a point where the trunk is constricted and the weight of the tree is splitting this V-shaped specimen down the middle just like a turkey wishbone.  We’ll just have to see how long it takes.


Bottom line: even though it takes a little more time to correct a flawed woody root system, it’s well worth the effort.

Gone but not forgotten…

Got to spend Friday in the field in northern Michigan visiting growers and seeing some neat stuff: Great fall color, some natural concolor x Fraser fir hybrids and some awesome root systems produced by root pruning.  Unfortunately, like the dog that ate the homework, my camera decided not to part with the images.  I am tracking down replacements and will post an update on Friday.</d