Tree Root Collar Excavation

Using an Air Spade for Root Collar Excavations

Root collar excavations are performed by Tree Medics using an air spade. The air spade uses pressurized air to till through even the toughest of soil, without damaging even the finest of tree roots. Using an air spade, instead of conventional digging tools, to remove excess soil from around a tree’s root collar is more effective, less time consuming, and safer for the tree.

For example, digging at the base of a tree with a hoe could result in damage to the tree trunk and roots. Which would cause the tree to become more susceptible to tree diseases and insect pest infestations.

diagram of tree root collar and recommended soil levels

The root collar should be 1 to 3-inches above ground level.

What is a Tree Root Collar?

The tree root collar is the area were the tree trunk meets the roots, flaring out and into the soil. The root collar is a part of the trunk, not the root system. Therefore it is not equipped to withstand the the continuous moisture that is often present in soil.

How Soil Level Affects Trees

Soil level is an important factor in tree root health. Soil that is piled too high on the trunk, or too low, can cause severe health issues with the tree as it matures. When the soil level is too high the root collar is being exposed to the constant moisture, present in the soil. The bark on the tree’s trunk, and root collar, is a natural defender against varying pests and diseases. If the root collar remains covered the tree will become more susceptible to decay, girdling root, insect pests, and tree diseases.

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Symptoms & Treatment of Root Collar Disorders

If your tree is suffering from a root collar disorder the early symptoms often present as yellowing of the foliage, or tree leaves. The tree leaves will often change colors and begin to drop prematurely. A reduction in new growth and die back in the upper crown is often present as well.

Root collar disorders should be diagnosed and treated by a Certified Arborist. Treatment would include excavation of the root collar through the use of an air spade, to prevent additional damage to the tree’s root system. Excavation of the root collar is necessary to not only correct the initial cause of the root collar disorder but, also to expose defects in the roots, such as girdling root, so that they can be properly treated and corrected.

Call your Tree Medics Certified Arborist at (813) 407-9974, to discuss your tree root collar excavation needs.
Girdling root exposed after the trees root collar was excavated using an air spade

Girdling Root, exposed after root collar excavation

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