Trees need room for their roots to spread. They need to be anchored from strong winds, a factor in our area. Tree Bound, Todd Stephenson, Certified Arborist, talks about the ramifications of planting trees in small bound places.
Hello. It’s Todd again, with Total Tree Care.
One of the things as a certified arborist that I find myself dealing with a lot, is a situation just like this. A large tree that should have roots 10 times, literally, further out than they’re allowed to have right here in this environment. And the tree is trying to uptake nutrients from this tiny, tiny area with a lot of alien soil and a lot of competition. A lot of these tree wells that we’ll see here sometimes have flowers and shrubbery in there, too. So it’s a situation that’s just bound to cause problems for the tree — anchorage, the trees will sway in heavy wind, nutritional problems, the trees will get weak, become stressed, become susceptible to pests — and the soil runs out of food, of nutrients, because you don’t have the forest floor re-nutrifying it.
So the biggest problem that we have is keeping the soil suitable for tree growth, and keeping the tree contained in these beds. Many times they’ll actually burst the concrete and cause problems for pedestrians. But as far as tree health goes, managing this tiny, tiny spot of soil to keep the tree roots picking up the nutrients they need, is our biggest challenge.