Buried Root Collars: We see a fair share of buried root collars, which can pose significant challenges for trees. We love this clear definition from horticultural educator Ryan Pankau of the root collar as the area of the lower trunk that transitions from trunk tissue to root tissue; it’s also called the root flare since the shape of the trunk flares out and widens here, though this shape is less pronounced in certain species. For optimum health, a tree’s root collar should be visible above the soil. But when a tree is planted too deep, when soil accumulates, or when mulch is added too high, girdling roots can strangle the tree’s vascular system, obstructing the flow of nutrients. We can help expose buried root flares via a specialized excavation process, assess the health of the root system, sever or remove any girdling roots, and ensure soil height no longer obscures the flare. We perform root collar excavations by hand or with an air spade on all tree species. If your tree is exhibiting symptoms of stress and you can’t see the flare at the base of your tree, get in touch!

Buried Root Collars: A Common Issue 1
Two street trees: Note the buried root collar compared to the exposed root collar.