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Root Collar Excavation

From canopy to root, your trees need professional care and maintenance to grow strong and healthy. Of particular importance is the root crown. Also known as the tree root flare, root collar, or root neck, a root crown is the part of a root system from which a trunk arises. This small area between the root system and the main trunk is critical to overall tree health.

At each independently owned and operated Monster Tree Service location, root excavation services carefully and expertly clear away soil, organic matter, and other debris to allow your tree access to light and air.

How a Tree Root Collar Affects Tree Health

A tree's root collar takes in oxygen and provides a vital transition point between the trunk and deeper roots. Covering it for an extended period can be detrimental, or even dangerous, to your tree. That’s because the tree can suffocate from compacted soil and drown due to water retention on parts of the tree not meant to be surrounded by wet dirt. Just a few inches of soil covering the root crown can also introduce water, mold, and fungi or deprive the tree of the oxygen and light it needs. Dying trees are unstable, vulnerable to collapse, and may more easily suffer complications from deadwood, infestations, and diseases.

Root collars may become buried naturally or because of human actions. Volcano mulching or other incorrect mulching techniques, excess leaves, organic matter, or rising soil levels may cover a tree's root flare.

Professional Tree Root Excavation Services

Our team of local plant health experts knows precisely how to uncover your trees’ root crowns without harming the tree.

When we provide a root crown excavation, we:

  1. Uncover the correct amount of root flare by carefully using air compression tools. (Digging tools may harm your tree’s root system more than they help uncover roots.)
  2. Investigate your tree for signs of girdling roots. Girdling roots grow next to the trunk instead of away from it and can cut into bark and flesh, strangling the tree.
  3. Examine the roots near the tree to make sure they're growing correctly. Adventitious roots grow from non-root tissue during stress or nutrient deprivation. They're often a sign that your tree has been buried too deep, though they can also occur on a healthy plant.
  4. Prune away any harmful girdling or adventitious roots to leave only healthy and helpful roots that give your tree the best chance of survival.
  5. Inspect your tree for signs of disease, deadwood, or insect infestations that could continue to harm your tree even after excavation.
  6. Recommend the best course of action for getting your trees back to full health so you can enjoy more years under the shade of their branches.

Find Professional Tree Root Collar Excavation Near Me

Root collar excavation is a delicate job best left to professionals. Let Monster Tree Service put our decades of experience and knowledge to work, helping to ensure your trees are at their best. Call (888) 744-0155 or request a free estimate online to get started planning long, healthy lives for your trees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do tree roots need oxygen?

Yes. Our Soil Health Care Service addresses poor soil quality and promotes healthy soil aeration; both encouraging optimal oxygen and water intake and storage.

How deep do tree roots go?

Most tree roots grow about 6 to 12 inches below the surface and usually reach a maximum depth of three to seven feet, but this varies by species. Many species have roots that prefer to grow horizontally rather than pushing deeper – especially in areas where the soil is more compacted. Shallow, loose soil tends to have the most nutrients, water, and oxygen available for the tree.

Are exposed tree roots bad?

No; in fact, proper plant health care can help support tree roots on top of the ground and below the earth. If your soil is too compact, it may not allow for the roots to “breathe” at their usual depth, causing them to surface. Only cover exposed roots if they pose a danger. Even then, you should only cover them with about two inches of soil and make sure not to cover the root collar.

Can you put dirt around a tree trunk?

No, don’t pile dirt or mulch around a tree trunk. Mounding dirt around trees [BB2] [O3] (known as “volcano mulching”) can trap moisture, encourage girdling roots, soften the bark on roots, and block enough air and proper water from reaching the root system.

Related Services

General tree care and maintenance, soil health care, and professional plant health care services are important to your home yard. Provide more care for your trees through our other services:

  • Have your trees inspected about once every quarter during the year to catch signs of a covered root crown or other reasons your tree might be struggling.
  • If a strangled root crown has caused some branches to die off, our deadwooding service safely removes dead or dying limbs to prevent them from falling.
  • Covered root flares leave your tree vulnerable to infection or infestation. Our insect and disease management services help fight off pests, fungi, and diseases after excavation.

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