Douglas fir - combined root system for a large tree

Douglas fir - combined root system for a large tree

The Douglas fir is a so-called heart root

Plants of all kinds are divided into shallow roots and deep roots, depending on how their roots spread in the soil. The larch does not belong in either category alone, because it has deep and shallow roots. This combination of different roots is also known as the heart root system.

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The heart serves as the name giver because the cross-section of the root system, viewed from the side, is reminiscent of a heart shape.

The development of the roots

At a young age, the Douglas fir forms deep tap roots that branch out on all sides. This is also necessary because this type of tree grows quickly and accordingly needs good anchoring. Even a strong wind cannot bring down the Douglas fir.

Shallow roots follow later, so that the entire soil is conquered across the board. The deep roots also make this tree less sensitive to drought, as it can still supply itself with water from the depths.

The root system of a Douglas fir spreads out to a depth of approx. 1.5 m.

Flexible adaptation to site conditions

A tree is a living being that does not form its roots according to a rigid plan. He reacts to some environmental factors and adapts to them as best he can.

  • permeable soil makes deep roots possible
  • nutrient-rich surface promotes shallow roots

Warning: sensitive roots!

Young Douglas firs have sensitive roots that can quickly dry out if left unprotected. Therefore, if possible, avoid buying bare-root trees in order to minimize the risk. The Douglas fir can hardly compensate for root damage.

Root suitable location

The older a Douglas fir is, the larger and more strongly its roots develop. At the beginning this fact will neither be visible nor cause problems. However, if the Douglas fir is unsuitable, its roots can soon become a threat.

  • Tree shouldn't be too close to buildings
  • Pay attention to underground lines nearby

The power that a root can develop is not to be underestimated. In a duel with a line she will emerge victorious and that can be expensive.