Gardening knowledge: Heartroot

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In the division of woody plants, the root system of the plants plays an important role in the selection of the right location and care. Oak trees rooted deep with a long taproot, pastures rather shallow with an extensive root system just below the surface - so the trees have very different demands on their environment, the supply of water and the soil. Often in horticulture but also so-called heart roots talk. This special type of root system is a hybrid that we want to explain in more detail here.

Structure and tasks of roots

The root systems of plants - large or small - consist of coarse and fine roots. The coarse roots support the root system and hold the plant, while the millimeter-small fine roots provide for water and nutrient exchange. Throughout their lives, roots grow and change. In many plants, the roots not only grow in length over time, but also become thicker, until they cork at some point.

The root systems at a glance


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The root systems at a glance

Gardening knowledge: Heartroot: knowledge

Trapezoidalists form a near-surface root system

Gardening knowledge: Heartroot: system

Deepworms also reach deeper soil layers with their strong tap roots

Gardening knowledge: Heartroot: root

Heartworms grow in several directions




What are heartworms?

In heart-rootlets such as beech and linden trees, the roots of a tree do not form a single pole, nor a flat-spreading system, but a hybrid form, with the roots evolving in several directions. Some strong main roots grow diagonally down and branch out at the same time laterally. Heartworms have their name, therefore, because the hemispherical root system in the earth often looks like a heart in cross section.

Benefits of the Heart Root

Heartworms are extremely adaptable and develop their root system according to the circumstances. If the soil is very permeable, more deep roots are formed, if it is very nutrient-rich on the surface, the root system remains rather flat overall. Heart roots also occur when, for example, the tap root can not grow further down due to an obstacle or the upper soil layers do not provide enough moisture to a shallow root. Through the heart-shaped root system actually flat-rooted trees get better grip and are less vulnerable to wind.

Which trees form heart-root systems?

walnut tree

Walnut trees often form heart root systems

Among the shrubs in the garden, which tend to form a heart root, include maple species such as field maple and pointed maple, Douglas fir, black alder, ginkgo, swede, sweetgum, tree hazel, sting, birch, beech and hornbeam, cherry, Book, larch, summer and winter bark, walnut, tulip tree and sycamore. Some of these trees (for example, the beech) start their growth at a young age with a taproot, but develop some strong side roots after some life, resulting in the heart-shaped root image. Attention: As trees as living creatures do not stick to botanical divisions, but always adapt to the site conditions, and every root system is unique, deviations can of course occur here.

Heart root in the garden

When caring for the ground, make sure that heartworms, like shallow roots, have many roots that are close to the surface. The roots, however, are finer. Chopping and digging should be as gentle as possible in the root area of ​​these trees. When planting, you should plan both down and in the radius of the expected treetop size enough space so that the root system can develop unhindered. The planting of plants, for example with ferns or perennials, is relatively easy with heart root rots, in contrast to flatroots, since the horizontally extending roots are not as strongly formed as in flatroots and the planting of the plants is thus exposed to less severe root pressure.

Video Board: Garden plant Dicentra spectabils - Bleeding heart.

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