Root Flare

Definition - What does Root Flare mean?

Root flares are the parts of the plant, most often trees, that thicken and emerge above the ground in the region where the trunk meets the underground roots. The root flare is the part of a tree at the base where it transitions to the root system, occuring at the surface level of the soil.

Also known as root collars, root crowns, or trunk flares, root flares may require some maintenance to boost the tree’s development and health over the long run. Ensuring that the root flares are free of girdles and are properly exposed have been known to ensure a proper growth spurt.

MaximumYield explains Root Flare

When the root flares don’t emerge naturally, gardeners need to manually expose them so they can be in direct contact with the atmosphere. To avoid stifling the root flares, it’s important to avoid covering them with soil, fills, or mulch. If the tree trunk can’t breathe properly, the bark will retain too much moisture, resulting in diminished yields, defoliation, and weakened shoot elongation.

To determine whether you need to work on exposing your tree's root flares, simply look at the tree base closely. If there is no obvious widening where the trunk enters the ground, the tree is not at its natural grade and will require some attention.

Most gardeners use air spades to coax the root flare out from underneath the soil. This tool works like a sandblaster and minimizes damage to the small roots during the excavation process. According to some botanists, it’s best to avoid using electric tools when excavating root flares.

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