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Root depth in compacted soil

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roots in compacted soil diagram

This root map shows a poplar tree excavated in USDA hardiness zone 6 in compacted (1.8 g/cc) sandy loam soil. The root system in compacted soil largely develops throughout the top few inches of soil. Lateral roots grew fairly straight and ranged from 1 to 5 inches deep.

This poplar tree found an uncompacted soil pocket (see arrow) and produced roots down to about 9 inches in this pocket. These deep roots branched more and followed cracks and crevices. Note how the one main lateral root turned 180 degrees after it emerged from the trunk.