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Trees, Root Systems, Storm Damage

This page provides educational information on trees, and compares shallow root with deep root systems.  People often cut down tall pines, thinking they are more likely to fall and damage their homes.  These diagrams help illustrate how trees with shallow root systems (oaks, beech, etc.) are more vulnerable to tipping in high winds than those with deep root systems (such as tall Southern pines).

Related article: Save Our Trees

Shallow root system of oaks, beech and other similar types of trees:

Storm-damaged tree (uprooted beech tree):


The shallow root systems of these types of trees make them especially vulnerable
to being uprooted in high winds and wet soil conditions.

Deep root system of a young pine sapling:

The roots of mature Southern pines can run 10-15 ft. deep.

Deep taproots of New Zealand pines

Photo by Murray Fraser
Senior Consultant/Director
Sydney Environmental & Soil Laboratory, Sydney, Australia
Photo taken in New Zealand


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