Root Flair: Where Trees Meet the Earth

February 25, 2020 · 1 minute read
Root Flair: Where Trees Meet the Earth

When an arborist wants to check the health and stability of a tree, one of the first things they may look for is a good root flair. This feature where the tree and earth meet should flair out as the trunk meets the ground. 

Healthy, exposed root flair.

Problems can arise when this feature is not seen.  If you see the trunk of the tree enter the ground like a fence post, this can be problematic.  Buried root flairs can promote decay in the root flair and the roots, which can lead to the tree falling. 

Buried root collar.

Buried root flairs can also lead to roots growing around the trunk, which means the tree can eventually choke itself.

The mulch volcano buries the root flair and invites problems for the tree.

If you don’t see a root flair, we may be able to help.  We can use an air excavation technique that will have minimal impact to the tree to re-establish a root flair.  We can prune any roots that have a potential to harm the tree as it grows. 

Truetimber arborist Peter Girardi excavates a buried root collar.

Some trees do have more pronounced root flairs than others.  If you are concerned about the root flair on your tree, feel free to give us a call for a free arborist’s visit.