Pine Tree Root Systems | Secrets You Were Unaware Of Pine Tree

Want to know the pine tree root systems? Nature is at its best at hills. People go to have fresh air and a clean environment in the mountains as they know that there is no pollution and hustle-bustle of cities there. One of the most useful natural resources on the planet earth is plants.

Yes, especially the Pine trees you see on the hills are the natural hurdles for the snow in the melting season and much more. They not only look eye-catching but are also useful in multiple ways to check their uses in groundguider. Pine trees are conifers by nature and are the vegetation of the Northern Hemisphere.

You can quickly identify Pine trees from the other trees due to their cone-shaped head and needle-like leaves. Pine can increase any country’s economy, as they play an essential role in the timber trade. So in the article, we will mainly discuss Pine tree root systems and other vital issues to highlight their importance in the natural ecosystem.

Pine Tree Specifications

  • The average height of the pine tree is 4 to 10 feet.
  • Pine trees are conifers, and they have needle-like leaves, which remain evergreen throughout the year.
  • Pine trees belong to the Gymnosperms family, in which their seeds do not have fruits and ovaries, but other than conifers, this group has cycads and ginkgo.
  • Unlike the deciduous plants in which seeds are present in fruits, Pine trees’ seeds are present in cones.
  • The structure of the pine cones has scales on them.
  • Pines belong to the genus Pinus, have 126 species, and belong to the family of Panacea.

If you have a question in your mind, 

Do Pine Trees Fall over Easily? 

  • The answer is yes! Due to the many reasons, All types of trees can fall and lose limbs during wind storms, but you should care about whether the trees around your home are getting vulnerable.
  • Research have proved many factors that can cause pine trees’ to fall, like the weakening of root systems, including decay of wood, injuries to tree roots, and shallow root systems.
  • The origins of trees should be twice the radius of the branches of the tree. In most urban areas, seeds have a great chance of damage due to construction or hindered encroachment. That’s why the trees are at significant risk of windthrow or toppling and uprooting without the extensive and robust root structure. 
  • Moreover, trees that grow in shallow and rocky soil suitable for growing in forests also have a significant risk. Thinning of stems is also a reason for the less capable of withstanding strong winds. 
  • The falling of a tree depends on its height; the taller the tree greater is its falling risk. Especially when the tree is full of leaves, severe wind can apply a force on the lower part of the trunk, and the roots can leave their place, thus leading to falling.   
Pine Tree Root Systems

Roots of Pine trees

The pine tree roots are the same as the other trees and grow in the Taproot system. Firstly, the pine’s seedling forms into a primary root, which then develops into many lateral roots, known as secondary roots, similar to all other types of root systems.

Cutting pine tree roots

Types of Roots

Pine tree roots near house

There are two types of roots in pine trees, fine roots, and coarse roots. 

Fine roots

These roots can grow on the soil’s upper layer, approximately 6 inches of the top layer, in the first year of plant development. As the name shows, these roots are soft and tender. They grow as the initial roots and afterward replaced by the coarse roots. 

Coarse roots

Coarse roots take the place of fine roots mainly after one year of development. Like taproots, pine tree roots can grow deeper in the soil as long as the tree survives. This root is thick and known as the primary root, which further becomes lateral roots called secondary roots. 

Soil preference

The structure and length of pine tree roots depend on water availability on the soil surface and oxygen content. The root growth needs a medium amount of water and oxygen. These tree root systems boost in moist soil that has a high range of water in it.

The trees face the problem when they have fewer energy reserves, as their roots do not get enough oxygen and water, or when 40 % of the root system is lost. They can grow well in deeper soil rather than in clay soil. The clay soil is thick and has less space between the soil particles in the foundations to hold oxygen; it has more water content than the sandy soil that is much loose but has less water and more oxygen. 

The sandy, slit, or loamy soil, which is best for pines’ tree root structure, has an average particle size of 0.002-0.02 mm.

The roots of larger pine trees can grow up to 35 to 75 feet deep, whereas the small pine trees can grow up to 4 to 15 feet. In search of water, primary roots of pine grow vertically downwards. Pine tree roots can grow up to two or three times the drip line’s width or far from the tree, where foliage grows. They have invasive root systems, but the roots will go in the soil where water is present if the soil is dry. 50 % of the root system exists in the top one foot of the soil, and 90 % of the root system grows in the top 3 feet of the soil. 

The Anatomy of Roots

The dissected section of roots shows the following parts.

  • Root hair
  • Epidermis
  • Cortex
  • Vascular bundles
  • The trunk diameter is suitable for estimating the root spread of unbarred trees. It is less than eight for small trees, and the ratio of the trunk to root radius is1 is to 38 in the documented studies. But this different for different types of soils, palm trees, mature trees, and compaction soil.

You may follow the method explained below to find more about the roots.

  • If you want to boost the roots to get enough water, dump the root base to three feet from the foundation, mainly when downspouts redirect the water away from the foundation. 
  • According to Perry in 1992 and Crook in 1996, it may add top roots’ mechanical role to enhance additional substantial vertical sticker roots.  
  • All types of shallow roots can grow in the direction of water, but how deep and far they go depends on soil type. But I investigate the white pine tree root system; it can get 100 feet tall and twenty feet outwards.
  • Do not cut the tree until you see where the shallow roots are going. So you should only cut one of them within the range of few feet in the trunk because it can remove only 25% of the entire root system. 
  • The pine trees can cause a lot of damage to the foundation of your property if it is near your house, so cutting pine tree roots would be the best alternative to save it. If you want to do the pine tree roots removal, do not cut more than 20% of the roots above the ground. 

Fir tree root system

Fir tree root system is another root system that consists of the strong taproot, secondary supporting taproots, lateral roots, and fine roots. While most root systems are densely packed near the stem of the tree, roots may extend from a height of 10 feet vertically and horizontally from a tree’s base.

Pine Tree Root Systems: FAQs

Do pine trees have deep roots? 

Yes, pine trees have deep roots. They have deep roots as much as the shallower root system. The shallow pine tree root systems can be 12 inches or less than this underneath the ground surface.

How far should a pine tree be from a house?

The rule of thumb is that the large trees over 70 feet tall should be planted at least 20 feet from the house. Medium-sized trees up to 50 feet tall should be planted 15 feet from the house, and small-sized trees-under 30 feet tall should be produced 8 to 10 feet from home.

How deep is the root system of a pine tree?

Most pine tree root systems extend down to about 3 feet but can be much more profound in dry sandy soils. The roots’ function is to support the above-ground part of the tree and extracts water and nutrients from the earth.


To end the topic, pine tree root system, it is wise to say that trees of any type can damage the foundation, but the results of some are awful. Pine trees are the best choice to grow in your yards because they are attractive landscape features. Fortunately, the pine tree root systems are widely safe to grow near your homes too. So you should only keep in mind the root system of pine trees when you are deciding your landscapes, as they help enhance your property’s beauty and cost.

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