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Gardener issues PSA against common landscaping mistake with dire effects: 'Now I think I know the root of my tree problem'

Sometimes, the smallest mistake can spell disaster, even if you have the best intentions.

Sometimes, the smallest mistake can spell disaster, even if you have the best intentions.

Photo Credit: iStock

Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get a little exercise, boost your mood, and even grow a tasty treat or two for the table. That doesn't mean it's always easy, though.

Sometimes, the smallest mistake can spell disaster for your plants and trees, even if you have the best intentions.

One Redditor used the platform to post some helpful advice for keeping trees healthy, which may seem counterintuitive to some.

Posting a picture of the base of a tree trunk, the Redditor explained a common gardening mistake that can lead to suffocating trees. 

"Keep stones, soil, and mulch from piling against tree trunks," they captioned the image. "Root flare should be visible down to the surrounding ground level. Above that level, they can cause health issues, as well as roots circling/girdling the trunk and anchor roots, causing structural failure and strangulation eventually." 

Tree trunks
Photo Credit: u/JoshPlaysUltimate / Reddit

The Redditor added that the tree in question was a 45- to 50-year-old pin oak tree and that the crushed limestone was piled up to 32 centimeters high against half of the base. 

On the other side, there were eight centimeters of mulch, which also would have prevented the roots from accessing much-needed oxygen for healthy growth. 

"Good to know. Now I think I know the root of my tree problem," one of the commenters quipped

Another issue the original Reddit poster said they encounter often is what they call a "tree volcano," in which mulch or soil is piled up against the base of the tree. 

It might seem that providing a good layer of soil for your trees is a smart way to give them nutrients for growth, but it could have quite the opposite effect. 

While depriving the roots of air and sunlight, it can also weaken the tree bark, which acts as a sort of armor plating and keeps out diseases and parasitic creatures. 

According to The Nature Conservancy, smart management of trees, plants, and soil throughout the United States can help to remove as much polluting carbon from the air equivalent to taking 57 million cars off the nation's roads. 

Ensuring the health of your trees will not only keep your green space looking lush, but it will also aid in reducing planet-warming gases to help cut down on the overheating of the Earth. 

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