Finding Roots

There is a creek along a dead end road about five miles from my home. The tree roots which grow along the creek’s bank are exposed by the rush of water which erodes the soil when high waters hit the area. These twisted, intertwining roots are covered with a luxurious green carpet of moss.

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8 Responses to Finding Roots

  1. The tree in the bottom picture looks like it could just get up and start walking away (or slithering…). Great shot.

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  2. Shonnie says:

    I love trees and roots. I am always taking pics of trees — even dead ones! 🙂

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  3. Bruce Hagen says:

    Rick, you’ve touched on a subject that I am concerned about as an arborist– tree roots. Of course, I’m very interested in the other natural curiosities you’ve blogged about.

    Tree roots are often ignored and poorly understood because they are largely hidden from view. They provide support and anchorage, absorb water and mineral elements, and store energy reserves. Roots often extend outward two to three times the radius of their dripline (periphery of foliage. They branch and rebranch many times forming and extensive network of absorptive tissue with an immense surface area. Although the type of root system a tree develops is an inherent characteristic, factors such as soil texture, structure, depth, fertility, available moisture, etc., greatly influence depth, spread and degree of branching. Most tree roots grow within the upper meter of the soil, however in clay soil or poorly drained soils trees roots may be confined to the upper 12 inches or near the surface. In sandy soils it is not uncommon to find roots at ten feet or even deeper.
    Tree roots form a symbiotic relationship with certain beneficial soil fungi which enhance root function. This association has allowed trees to survive in habitats that would otherwise be too harsh. Roots colonized by these specialized fungi are termed ‘mycorrhizal.’ They contain both tree and fungus tissues. Both organisms benefit from this arrangement. While the fungus aids in the absorption of water and essential mineral elements, it derives nourishment (sugar) from the roots. It’s good deal for both the symbionts. Many mushrooms growing near trees are the fruiting bodies of the fungi that that have colonized the tree’s roots.

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