Trees rely on their roots to provide water and nutrients from the soil, anchor them in place, and store energy for growth. Given their importance, it’s no surprise that healthy roots are essential to the long-term health of your trees.

Our experts have put together the following best practices for tree root care so that you can enjoy thriving, healthy trees for years to come.

Watering Habits

Texas droughts are notorious, and even during average years, our state’s heat and wind can quickly dry out the soil around your trees. This is why watering is such a crucial part of tree root care.

During the first year after planting, you should water your tree every week or two, depending on rainfall. For established trees, water once a month during the growing season and every other month during the dormant season.

When watering, slowly soak the ground around the tree. This practice will help encourage deep root growth. However, be careful not to overwater as this can negatively affect your tree’s health.


Mulch helps conserve moisture and keep roots cool in hot weather. It also reduces weeds, which compete with trees for water and nutrients.

When applying mulch, spread a layer two to four inches thick around the base of your tree. Avoid “volcanic” mulching or piling mulch too high up against the trunk, as this can lead to problems like rot and insect infestations.


Proper fertilization is another important aspect of tree root care. Fertilizer provides trees with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

It’s best to test your soil before applying fertilizer to determine which nutrients are lacking. Most trees do well with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer applied in early spring.

You can also invest in deep root injections, a type of fertilizer applied directly to the roots. This method is especially beneficial for trees struggling to thrive.

Soil Aeration

Soil aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the root zone. This practice is especially crucial in compacted soils, which can limit root growth. Our soil aeration service in Kerrville, TX, can help ensure your tree’s roots have the space they need to thrive.


Some areas of your property may have naturally poor drainage. Waterlogged soil can suffocate tree roots and lead to many problems, including disease.

If you think your tree’s roots might have poor drainage, look for signs like yellow leaves, wilting, or fungal growth around the base of the tree. A professional tree service expert can install drainage systems to help mitigate this problem.


Did you know that proper pruning encourages the growth of roots? For living branches, use a bypass-style pruner or lopper, as this type of cut promotes healthy regrowth. Anvil-style tools, meanwhile, work best for dead branches to seal off the wound and prevent decay.

Avoid “topping” trees as this can lead to weak and unstable growth.

Regular Inspections

Lastly, regular inspections are an essential part of tree root care. Always watch out for signs of stress, such as yellowing leaves, thinning canopies, and cracks in the bark. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a certified arborist for an assessment.

Rockoff Tree Solutions professionals can spot potential problems before they become serious, allowing you to take action before it’s too late. By following these best practices for tree root care, you can keep your trees healthy and strong for years to come.

Rockoff Tree Solutions uses a technique called “air spading” to safely inspect the critical root zone and feeder roots while aerating any compacted soil. Learn more about air spading by checking out our blog; then, give us a call at 830-955-0304!