Last week, we introduced you to one of the newest tools in the arsenal of urban tree managers. Urban trees often struggle, because the tightly packed soil and concrete barriers surrounding them hinder their ability to absorb water and oxygen.
Rootwell is beneficial because it provides a pathway for essential nutrients... helping trees remain vital and beautiful in an urban setting.
You can see, in the picture above, that the roots of this tree are beginning to peek above the ground in their search for water and nutrients. Of course, this doesn't help the tree in the long run, and it can also produce a tripping hazard to pedestrians and can eventually damage mowing equipment (or mowing equipment will damage the tree roots, which is also a problem).
In this picture (above), you can see the sinker root to the right of the Rootwell device. See how its beginning to plunge into the ground there? That is FANTASTIC, because sinker roots provide structural support and stability for a tree. When they're too shallow, the tree will take much less abuse and will be more likely to fall over.
You might also notice in this picture that the extension roots are not impeded at all.
In this picture, you can see the tree's small feeder roots extending toward the Rootwell device. This is evidence that the device is successfully providing more nutrients and water to the tree.
Jeff Ling is a Registered Consulting Arborist and Co-Founder of TreeMasters, Inc., a full service arbor-care company, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. TreeMasters provides tree owners with scientific tree management services throughout Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio.