UKTC Archive

Re: neighbouring tree roots and RPAs

Subject: Re: neighbouring tree roots and RPAs
From: Bill Anderson
Date: Mar 04 2021 10:16:03
There was a guy turned up at the conference, in Manchester a few years
back, with a collection of furniture he'd made out of various salvaged
tree-parts. In particular he'd made a coffee table from the roots of a Yew
hedge by digging up the hedge, 3 or 4 stems from memory, turning it upside
down and sticking a sheet of glass on top of the roots. The cut stems
served as the legs. (This was sturdier and more stable than it sounds.) The
roots of the individual plants seem to have fused together quite solidly.
What does this tell us about roots of neighbouring trees? I've no idea, but
I don't think there's an argument for root-shyness in the manner of
crown-shyness.

Bill.

On Thu, 4 Mar 2021 at 09:03, Wayne Tyson <wt750mv@xxxxxx.com> wrote:

Roots develop where conditions are favorable. Any "competition" is in the
eye of the beholder.

Stay safe, everyone!

WT

On Wed, Mar 3, 2021 at 9:10 AM Jim Quaife <jq@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.co.uk>
wrote:

Tree roots do intermingle but they only occupy a relatively small
proportion of soil volume.  The growth competition between woodland trees
can produce very long roots.  Drawing an RPA circle for a tree in a
woodland is strangely enough, probably a fair estimation, not least
because
the RPA is probably at most 50% of the root system.
If there is natural grafting it is very likely to be consistent for any
given grouping, and there is no reason to suppose that removing a tree
would adversely affect neighbouring trees.
Jim

-----Original Message-----
From: uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info [mailto:
uktc-request@xxxxxx.tree-care.info] On Behalf Of Jasper Fulford-Dobson
Sent: 03 March 2021 09:45
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: neighbouring tree roots and RPAs

Has anyone else heard of the assertion that the roots of neighbouring
trees present a significant physical barrier to each other with regards
to
the shape/extent/pattern of RPAs?

If there is any merit in this theory and how would it work for trees in
closely spaced groups or woodlands?

My brief investigations into any science or common sense behind this has
concluded the following: -

It seems to be widely accepted that roots can merge and even graft
together (inosculation) to form rigid, interlocked systems, both within a
single root system and between neighbouring trees of the same or
differing
species (Graham & Bormann 1966, Epstein 1977, Basnet et al 1993, Sprugel
2011 and Hirons 2018). Add to this the recognised theory of pathogenic
transmission between root systems together with the complex and
potentially
vast nature of underground mycorrhizal associations and it becomes clear
that attempting to draw an accurate picture of the exact rooting pattern
for every given tree (particularly those in woodlands or closely spaced
groups in urban sites with myriad man made structural barriers) is pure
guestimation, even for an experienced arborist.

The narrative of the precise shape of such a polygon shaped RPA could
therefore go on ad-infinitum right?

Any advice or feedback gratefully received.



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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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The UK Tree Care mailing list
To unsubscribe send mailto:uktc-unsubscribe@xxxxxx.tree-care.info

The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
Stockholm Tree Pits
https://www.stockholmtreepits.co.uk