Many trees fail as a result of improper planting procedures. Planting too deep and not addressing circling roots at planting are common causes for tree failure.
There are two main ways deep planting causes the decline or death of trees. It suffocates roots and rots the base of the trunk. Planting a tree too deeply will either result in slow stunted growth or slow tree decline and eventual death.
Circling roots quite often develop with trees grown in containers. As a root grows in length inside the container (pot), it will eventually “hit” the inside edge of the pot. Not being able to push through, the root will begin to bend, growing along the inside of the pot in a circular fashion. These circling roots, left as is, will continue to circle once planted. With time, the circling roots do not help “anchor” the tree and they also can cause problems for the truck, constricting the truck and causing decay. Ultimately, trees with circling roots can fail in the future during heavy winds, causing property and/or personal damage.
Tree failure usually happens after a tree has been in the ground for a number of years following improper planting. As a result, the tree will be years larger and heavier before it falls. Large maturing trees can cause much damage when they fall. Tree failure is likely to happen during high winds. And we happen to live in a high wind climate area of the country. As a result of improper planting, many people are planting future problems without realizing it.
Learning how to plant trees at the correct depth and how to deal with circling roots can result in faster growing, stronger, healthier and longer lived trees.
As part of Florida’s Arbor Day, we will provide a class titled “Preventing Tree Failure” at the UF/IFAS-Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Rd. in Crestview. The class will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday, January 21.
Topics covered will include Tree Species Selection for Northwest Florida, Why Do We Plant Trees in the Winter and Prevent Future Problems by Planting Trees Correctly.
At the conclusion of the class, the first 50 registered attendees will receive a one-gallon Florida friendly tree. Quantities are limited.
Weather permitting, a tree planting demonstration and ceremony will take place following the class.
This event is sponsored by the Florida Division of Forestry, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Okaloosa County Master Gardeners.
To register, please call 850-689-5850. There is no cost to attend.
Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agents, Okaloosa County, January 10, 2014