Have you ever wondered why one tree will fall over during a storm or high wind while the other is left standing tall? Let’s look at why this happens.

According to experts, when trees are uprooted the roots are to blame. A tree’s root system serves several purposes. The two main important jobs are to absorb water and nutrients from the soil and to anchor the tree, which will keep the tree straight and stable.

It’s all about those roots. If your tree has root issues, storms with lots of rain and high winds may cause your tree to topple over.  Root rot is a type of fungus that mostly occurs when there is too much moisture in the root zone. This can greatly increase the likelihood of a tree falling over during a storm or high wind.

Damage from construction: When construction takes place near the roots, they can be easily damaged. Sometimes contractors will cut the roots. When driveways and sidewalks are put in a tree’s critical root zone, the compacted soil can over time smother the tree roots. When the root system is struggling due to the soil compaction, it’s more likely to topple over during heavy rain and high winds.

Shallow roots can be another cause. When trees are planted in hard or compacted soils, the root systems may struggle to penetrate the ground and form roots at a specific depth. Other ways that trees can develop shallow roots are when they are watered incorrectly. Short, yet frequent watering will only allow water to enter the top of the soil. The tree roots will then only grow shallower than they should.

Shallow roots don’t anchor trees as well as roots that grow at the appropriate depth and can lead to a higher risk of uprooting.