Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Driplines and Tree Roots

This is a follow up post for putting trees into your landscape.  My Chinese Elm suffered because I didn't move the dripline from the tree after a year.  Wherever you have your irrigation system, it's important to remember that you need to adjust the water needs of your plants as they get older. More gardeners kill plants from overwatering than from anything else.  Here's a tip to remember when putting trees into your yard.

The rule is simple. The dripline is the area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree branches. This is where the tiny rootlets are located that take up water for the tree. Trees should be watered here, not by the base of the trunk, or the tree may develop root rot.

For the first year, keep the dripline around the tree. When a tree grows; so does the root system.  Make sure you move the dripline further and further away from the tree as it gets older to match the canopy of the tree.  If the dripline isn't moved, the focused watered area will encourage the roots to stay in one spot and not spread out.  This can lead to the tree eventually tipping over. Or root rot like it did with my Chinese Elm.  Hopefully this information will help down the road.

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