Understanding How Tree Root Systems Work: Quick Guide for Palm Bay, FL, Residents

Every thriving tree needs healthy tree root systems. You might not see the roots of your property’s trees, but that doesn’t mean the network isn’t working overtime to provide the plants with vital nutrients. Root networks vitally support trees and contribute to their health in many ways.

Our East Coast Arbor Pro team offers the best tree removal in Palm Bay, FL, so we know all aspects and features of trees including the anatomy of tree roots. Here, we break down tree root structures to help you understand more about these majestic plants and how they function.

The Composition of Tree Root Systems

The root systems of trees form one of the most important parts of the plant. The networks consist of anchoring and feeder roots that don’t bear leaves.

Feeder roots lie close to the soil’s surface to absorb water, oxygen, and nutrients. They die and grow often, unlike long-lasting anchor roots that dig deeper to give the tree a stable base. 

What Tree Roots Do

Tree root systems perform several jobs, including the following:

  • They absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen from the surrounding soil.
  • They store and disperse the food and water they absorb.
  • They anchor the tree to the ground.

As feeder roots dig into the soil, they take in water, phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. The food the root system doesn’t feed to the tree will remain in the trunks to ensure the tree has enough energy to bloom during spring. 

While the uppermost feeder roots grow horizontally in the soil, the anchor roots dig into the ground vertically. They can go as deep as seven feet to keep the tree planted firmly in place.

Besides supporting and feeding the tree, root networks also reduce soil erosion. Tree roots’ vertical and horizontal spreads can help stabilize the soil by holding everything in place. 

Where Tree Roots Grow

Under the right conditions, tree root systems will grow as deep and wide as possible. However, available space isn’t the only factor that can promote or hinder tree root growth. The soil around the tree must have enough oxygen, water, and minerals, whether naturally or with fertilizer and regular watering.

Soil compaction can create a problem that prevents a tree root system from establishing itself. It can become too difficult for the root branches to penetrate dense soil. 

People often assume tree roots grow in specific patterns throughout the soil. For instance, a popular myth claims that roots only spread out as far as the tree’s drip line, the outermost part of the tree’s canopy where water falls from the leaves to the ground. However, roots can spread up to seven times the radius of a tree’s drip line distance.

By knowing where tree roots grow and the environmental factors that can impact their growth, you can learn the best place to apply fertilizers, insecticides, and other treatments for the tree. Using certain treatments too close to the tree’s root system will hurt it. 

Count on East Coast Arbor Pro for Tree Care

Part of what an arborist does includes understanding tree root systems to ensure they can provide the right tree care services when necessary. When Palm Bay, Florida, residents need qualified and certified arborists to care for their trees, they turn to East Coast Arbor Pro. 

Our licensed and insured company offers comprehensive tree care services, including:

  • Tree removal
  • Stump grinding
  • Tree trimming and pruning

We also have an ISA-certified arborist on staff and provide 24-hour emergency storm damage. We’re the local team to call when your tree root networks are in trouble—call (321) 917-9342 for a free estimate with East Coast Arbor Pro today.

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Our mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality tree care services possible. Our team is experienced and knowledgeable in all aspects of tree care,


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