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The Perils of Planting Too Deep

In the world of landscaping our professionals often come across a problem that leads to the gradual decline of trees in landscapes. It’s not some mysterious disease, it’s about the depth at which these trees are planted and the roots that wrap around them. Planting trees too deep can create several issues, like squeezing and strangling the roots, depriving the tree of vital water and nutrients. We’ll explore these problems and learn why it’s important to plant trees correctly.

Why Deep Planting is a No-Go

Imagine if you were trying to drink water through a straw, but someone kept squeezing it in the middle. That’s a bit like what happens when trees are planted too deep. You see, the tree’s vascular tissue, which carries nutrients and water, is primarily found in the bark. Roots, on the other hand, have their vascular tissue in the center. This difference means that roots can join with roots and stems with stems, but it also means roots can strangle a tree’s stem.

Mulch Mountains and Tree Troubles

Another tree-troubling scenario is excessive mulch piled up around the tree trunk, often referred to as “volcano mulch.” This scenario is pretty similar to deep planting problems. It’s important to remember that you should keep mulch several inches away from the tree trunk to ensure the tree stays healthy. If a newly transplanted tree is significantly buried, its decline can happen faster. This is especially true for plants that can’t tolerate overly wet soil conditions. In heavy clay soils, the negative effects on a tree’s health worsen. The trapped water can create a “bathtub” effect, where the soil doesn’t drain well after rainfall or irrigation, suffocating the tree’s roots.


So, there you have it. When it comes to planting trees, the old saying “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” doesn’t quite apply. It’s all about where and how deep you plant them. Keep those roots happy, and your trees will stand tall and healthy for years to come.



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