How much of a tree is underground ?

I still remember being told by folksy oldtimers that "When you look at a tree, there is the same amount below ground as there is above ground". They were implying that the root system was just as big below ground, as the branches were above ground. I sort of took this as being true. Just how big is the root system of trees?

Well, I was out walking after a windstorm had blown over some trees, and I am here to tell you, that from the photographic evidence, the roots are NOT as large as the branches in a typical tree. Click on the above photos to enlarge them. You will see that the root system is much smaller than the branch system of a tree.

So much for the folk-wisdom of yesteryear.

1 comment:

Andrew Coombs said...

A falling tree doesn't fall with all of it's roots. The root system is rather wide, so when the trunk tips too steeply, the tension rips the roots at about ground level.