Hot answers tagged

29

The oxygen explanation regarding plants in standing water is too simplistic. When you root cuttings in plain water, there's nothing else in there compared to what's in soil. Your cuttings may take up to six weeks to root, and in that time, you may top up the water with more clean water occasionally to keep the base of the cutting in the water, while it ...


13

The roots of most trees are shallow (i.e., not more than 1' to 1.5' deep), but spread out very wide (see the picture below from here) . Given the height of your trees, they're not very young and you can be sure that the roots spread at least as far out as the tree is tall. Add a factor of half to that for every 10 years of the tree's life. Note that this is ...


12

No, it is not. Those are nitrogen fixation nodules, similar to what alfalfa roots do. It is the result of symbiosis with a soil bacterium. With root rot the roots die and things get a little stinky. Pinch an affected root with a thumb and forefinger and tug - the epidermal tissues will slide right off the xylem or woody core.


12

No, you shouldn't interfere with them or damage them in any way, you may compromise the tree if you do. If possible, remove the grass that's near the roots, plant ground cover instead or just mulch around the roots.


11

New research tools have allowed arborists to learn more about tree roots. Tree roots can extend as far as two or three times the width of the drip line, or the farthest point from the tree where foliage grows. Pine trees are not known for having invasive root systems but if the soil is dry roots will go where the water is. Most roots grow within the top ...


10

We grow vegetables in an area about 16' square, in raised beds. Several years after we started, the garden became a disaster - we just couldn't get anything to grow well in most of the garden. Eventually, I figured out that some nearby Norway maples had taken over most of the soil - coming up from the bottom of the beds. For several years I kept digging ...


10

While I'm a big fan of raised beds in general, I don't think they're any kind of a solution here - the roots will just come up into the beds. From what I've read, landscape fabric and cardboard don't stop tree roots. We have Norway Maples "near" (40 feet from) our raised beds, and I have to dig a line around the outside of the beds down six inches with ...


10

If you cut the root you will damage the leaves that are fed by that root. That root also provides structural stability. A better idea is to rebuild or remove the retaining wall in that area. The root will only get bigger and they can move quite large stones and interlock.


10

I think you're conflating two things - tilling wet soil and jumping straight to 'artificial' soil to create particular conditions for seeds to grow in,but the one doesn't necessarily lead to the other. The statement that tilling wet soil destroys soil structure is accurate, but tilling destroys soil structure whenever it is done, its just worse for seeds and ...


9

I know I've recently listened to a Gardeners’ Question Time podcast where someone had a very! similar question to yours. I've tried to find the episode, but have failed miserably. Sorry. Below is a mixture of what I can remember from that show and my own advice (for what that's worth): Anything on your property, be it above or below ground, is technically ...


9

Sadly, I think your point marked "†" is almost certainly 100% spot on. I believe your "I've always thought..." statement is 100% correct and if you've been doing that, you've been doing the right thing all along, in my opinion. Teasing root-bound plants out of a pot, container, burlap, etc. greatly helps the plant get off to its best possible start, ...


9

Root pruning is typically done when the roots of the plant are all entangled and have begun growing around in circles. Pruning is necessary for the continued growth and health of the plant. Pruning approaches can vary wildly, depending on how badly the plant is root bound, but the essential goal in each case is the same: free the roots! I'll describe two ...


9

I'm sorry to say it will hurt the tree - over time, as they mature, many trees develop buttress roots at their base, but upheaval around the base of a tree, even without buttress roots, is to be expected. The roots are essential to the tree's survival, and should not be cut, shaved or removed. Perhaps you could replan the walkway to leave space around the ...


8

Is leaving them in there better or worse than taking them out? In a pot, definitely take them out if you can. They will put out chemicals while decomposing (usually) that slow down the new plants (a kind of allelopathy). In a garden bed, usually this process only takes a couple weeks. Also, in a pot, the roots have the potential to mess with water movement, ...


8

You don't say what part of the world you're in, and that makes a difference to legal procedures, but if the tree is close enough to damage your house should it fall, here in the UK, I'd advise my buildings insurance company of what's happened, and hopefully, they'd either arrange for a Tree surgeon to attend and assess the situation, or pay for a tree ...


8

Evil Elf asked in a comment about studies of what does happen to trees when root work is done. A survey of web links shows that root pruning is commonly given as good advice. Academic studies of the results are scarcer. Here is one city that trims roots down on request but notes that "wounds can create an entry way for harmful insects and diseases". The ...


7

As a fellow Aussie I know you have an easy answer to your legal rights: just call your local council and confirm with them that you have permission to cut roots from neighbours trees. There are by-laws in councils to prevent you from harming trees. I know in our area it is any tree that is over 3 metres is basically a protected species. Not suggesting that ...


7

Here's my guess at what you're looking at. The tree took a huge amount of damage some time in the past as evidenced by the dark line running up the trunk. I'm guessing this is a grafted tree and after the damage the original root system decided to ditch it's partner further up the trunk and grow it's own leaves. From the thickness of the little stems this ...


7

Agree with Jim Young's answer, point given, but would add these are referred to as coralloid roots, and are common on Sago palm, image below https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cycas_revoluta_coralloid_roots.JPG


7

Far better to mulch the area or otherwise remove it from mowing. A huge tree is a huge issue when it's in trouble, and cutting roots is very likely to cause trouble, as the tree depends on the supplies from those roots, their physical support, etc.


7

Roots show positive gravitropism meaning that they grow towards the direction of gravitational pull. Vigorous plants like trees need to anchor themselves in compact soil, while small and delicate annual flowers prefer lighter soil. When tilling, the capillarity of the soil is interrupted and this means that water will evaporate more slowly. If the soil is ...


7

This is definitively a Yucca elephantipes. Not Dracaena. It is indeed an air root coming out of it. However, this plant is one of the easiest to propagate, you can just cut of the top of the stem or your rooted shoot and put it in the ground. No hormones or sterile soil needed. Also without these air roots it will work out fine, just make the soil not too ...


6

Water well and frequently - you haven't said how large/old the tree is, nor what variety it is, but if its all wilting, I'm assuming it's not a large tree. Difficult to be precise about how much water and how often without further information, but you have cut its water uptake roots (so to speak) so supplying plenty of water for the next 6 to 8 weeks should ...


6

I don't think the problem is forsythia specific - I've had the same experience with peach cuttings. The first time I tried it I took the cuttings at the wrong time of year (ie. a different unrelated problem), but the second time I took them at the right time and I had one success out of about half a dozen cuttings. All of the failures in the second batch ...


6

Theoretically you can induce most slips (of an asexually reproducing plant) to root in just water as long as the water is extremely aerated, the right temperature and the proper pH. Most plants that can reproduce asexually don't need nutrients from soil to start roots for a limited time. Once they slip/seed has used up its stored energy source it will need ...


6

I had a sugar maple in the front yard. It was cut down 2 months ago. The roots of that tree caused me big problems and a lot of work. A 5 inch diam root 2 1/2 feet in the ground grew tight against my basement wall and the pressure of the root buckled the wall, which i am repairing now. The tree had always been trimmed, so it would be hard to say how big the ...


6

If they are all dried out then they are dead. Avocado pits need to be planted pretty quickly after being removed from their fruit. On your first success, how did you start the pit? The method I've had the most luck with was suspending the fresh and thoroughly washed pit over a glass of water using toothpicks stuck into the seed in several spots, with ...


6

The right way to stake a tree is to use two or three stakes, spaced equally around the tree, and outside of the tree's root system. If you have just one stake, the tree can freely move toward the stake, or it can swing from side to side like a pendulum at the end of the support line. With two stakes at opposite sides, you only allow as much motion to or away ...


6

Bulbs Bulbs are plant storage organs generally grown underground, consisting of a short stem (the basal plate), from which grow overlapping, swollen leaves or leaf bases. The top growth emerges from the bulb center. Here's an example: Corms Corms are not made up of leaves, but a vertical swollen compact stem, and as such are solid. The corm is protected ...


6

I would also suggest that you only water the plants in the morning when the excess water will evaporate in the sunlight. I made this mistake several times with midnight watering which caused my salvia, Rosemary and lemon verbena to drown first then get fungal disease.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible