a large beautiful tree canopy in alberta

What Is the Drip Line of Your Tree?

Watering, fertilizing and mulching your trees are vital steps to promote healthy, vibrant and beautiful trees on your property. To do these things correctly, you need to know about a tree’s drip line. Here’s what a drip line is and why it’s crucial to tree maintenance.

Determining A Tree’s Drip Line

The drip line is an imaginary circle on the ground surrounding a tree. The line is located roughly at the same point on the ground as the maximum extension of the tree’s canopy overhead.

Another way to determine the drip line is to imagine an open umbrella when it’s raining. The circle demarcating the line where rain falls off the umbrella is comparable to the drip line created by a tree’s canopy. The drip line, in effect, outlines the dry area underneath the tree’s canopy.


Why the Drip Line Is Important

The area inside the tree’s drip line is called the critical root zone. You must keep this area undisturbed to ensure your trees stay healthy. These roots require the most protection and care. Damage to the roots from construction, traffic or trenching can harm the tree.


Tree Care Using the Drip Line

Besides avoiding disturbances within the drip line, the critical root zone is where you must provide the most care. This area is where you should water during dry periods, soaking 50 to 60 per cent of the root area. You should also apply fertilizer within the drip line to provide maximum nourishment.

Mulch is an effective way to protect roots within the drip line from extreme heat and cold. Apply mulch five to 10 centimetres deep, starting about 30 centimetres away from the trunk and extending to the drip line. Applying mulch too close to the trunk can cause the bark to rot.


Consult a Local Arborist from All Season Tree Service

The umbrella comparison is only a rough gauge for determining a drip line, as different tree species have unique root zones. Soil type can also impact how far the tree’s critical roots grow. For example, an oak tree has a critical root zone that extends well past the tree’s drip line. A professional arborist knows more about root systems and best practices.


Tree Services in Edmonton And The Surrounding Area

At All Season Tree Service, we provide a comprehensive array of tree services, including pruning, removal and bracing. We also offer professional assessments to help you determine the best way forward if a tree is damaged or diseased.

We service residential and commercial customers in Edmonton and the surrounding communities. Contact us today to get a free estimate or schedule a service call.