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Root Flares: Ensuring Proper Tree Planting for Long-Term Health


No Mulch Volcanoes around trees

Understanding the significance of root flares is critical for tree health when purchasing and planting trees. The root flare, where the trunk widens as it meets the roots, should be positioned above ground level. Avoid planting trees where the base resembles a pencil buried in the soil, lacking any noticeable widening at the base.

Keep mulch away from the trunk and root flare, ensuring it remains no more than one-inch above ground grade. Unfortunately, many commercial sites overlook this as they pile numerous applications of mulch on for aesthetics, leading to the formation of mulch volcanoes—a practice more harmful than beneficial. These volcanoes contribute to various root issues, resulting in stunted growth, dying branches, reduced foliage, and peeling bark. Moreover, burying the trunk or the area above the flare in soil and mulch promotes rot, as it's not water-resistant.


      Volcano mulching a tree Too much mulch on a tree
        Dead tree rotted from too much mulch


If trees are improperly planted with mulch volcanoes, corrective measures are necessary. Removing excess mulch and root pruning to eliminate girdling roots and those above grade may be required. Once re-graded, mulch should be applied correctly and maintained to ensure optimal health. Arborists possess the expertise to re-grade trees, offering them a better chance of reaching maturity.


     Correct Mulching:     

Correct mulching technique for trees          Tree with good mulch level on roots


Tree planting entails a significant investment, so it's imperative to ensure it's done correctly. Choose reputable landscaper installers who understand the importance of proper planting techniques and avoid the pitfalls of mulch volcanoes. By prioritizing correct planting practices, you're safeguarding the long-term health and vitality of your trees as well as your investment in your property.

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