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  • Writer's pictureKelly Robinson

What is the root flare of a tree, and why is it important?

Why root flares matter to trees.
This is an example of a healthy looking root flare in the Denver metro. Nothing covering it and free to exchange O2.

A tree's root flare, also known as the root collar, is the point where the tree's trunk meets its roots. It is an essential part of a tree's anatomy and plays a critical role in the tree's overall health and stability. Unfortunately, many homeowners make the mistake of covering the root flare with soil when planting a tree, which can cause significant problems down the road.

The root flare is important because it is where the tree's vital vascular system is located. This system, which is responsible for transporting water and nutrients to the tree's canopy, is concentrated in the root flare area. When the root flare is covered with soil, it can suffocate the tree's roots and disrupt the tree's ability to take up water and nutrients. This can lead to stress and decline in the tree's health.

Additionally, covering the root flare can also cause the tree to become unstable. The root flare is the point where the tree's roots transition from being underground to becoming above ground. When the root flare is covered, it can cause the tree to be planted too deep, which can lead to a loss of stability and an increased risk of the tree falling over in high winds or storms.

Another problem that can occur when the root flare is covered is that it can lead to the formation of a "crown flare" which is when the tree develops a bulging area at the base of the trunk. This can happen when the soil level is too high, causing the tree to push up the soil, creating an unnatural bulging shape. This can make the tree look unsightly, and cause structural issues.

To prevent these problems, it's important to ensure that the root flare is always exposed when planting a tree. This can be done by carefully removing any soil or mulch that may have been placed on top of the root flare during planting. It's also important to ensure that the tree is planted at the correct depth, with the root flare at or slightly above ground level.

A tree's root flare is an essential part of a tree's anatomy and plays a critical role in the tree's overall health and stability. Think of the flare as two wildely differen environments meeting and interacting with eachother. the top section of the tree is exposed to air and sun and weed wackers (hopefully not :) and the roots are in cold dark moist soil( hopefully:). The transistion zone is the root flare, and if there is interference in that area it will negativly affect the health of the tree. It should always be exposed when planting a tree to ensure the proper functioning of the tree's vascular system, stability, and appearance. Covering the root flare can lead to stress, decline in the tree's health, instability, and unsightly appearance. By ensuring that the root flare is exposed, homeowners can help to ensure the long-term health and stability of their trees.

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