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  1. #1
    Tap Roots

    Is it true that the ficus benjamina tree, when grown outdoors, does not have a tap root?* A business recently had 2 trees removed in front of a historical location and said that the gardener had damaged the roots when he tilled the soil around the base of the tree in order to plant some decorative plants there.* They said that the trees fell over during the night but there are other suspected causes of removal.* These were trees that were about 20 years old and at least 20 feet tall.

    *

    Thanks for any help.

    *

    Willie B

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Willie,

    If a person runs a till under a tree, or even near the outer edge of the crown, they can damage the tree and it's roots which will result in decline and probable death of the tree.* Most tree roots are in the top 12" of soil and extend BEYOND the drip line (outer edge of the crown).* I too would remove a Ficus benjamina if it was anywhere near a structure.* Here's a picture of the roots of a farily young tree.
    http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/21156/

    Here's info on how tree roots grow.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO017
    http://www.mortonarb.org/research/treeroots.html

    Ficus benjamina does not have a tap root.
    http://www.ftg.org/horticulture/n_hortFAQ.htm#Ficus

    Newt



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