You may be wondering, what exactly are Mycorrhizae? They are a fungus that lives on and sometimes in your tree’s roots. Don’t worry, not all fungus equate to rot or disease. This particular fungus is actually your trees best friend, and in this blog, we will show you why this is.
How do Mycorrhizae help my trees?
As you may know, trees gather their nutrients and water via their roots. However, these roots need to be in direct contact with the soil surrounding them in order to take what they can. As such, the roots are limited in the number of nutrients and amount of water they are able to extract simply due to their size and reach. The mycorrhizae fungi act as root extenders. By attaching themselves within and around the tree roots, mycorrhizal are able to act as a transport system directly to your tree. This optimizes gathering of nutrients and water, which allows your tree to focus on growth in other areas apart from its roots.
By surrounding your tree's roots the mycorrhizae also act as a first defense against toxins and potential disease. Not only do these helpful fungi bring nourishing food and water to your tree, they also provide a layer of protection! It is this dual purpose that makes this fungus your tree’s best friend.
What do the Mycorrhizae get out of helping my trees?
While the mycorrhizae thoroughly enjoy bringing your trees and other plants nutrients, they don’t do it simply for a place to live! Your trees and plants actually provide the fungi some much-needed sugar and carbohydrates! The mycorrhizae need both to help them thrive and build networks beneath the soil. In building fungi colonies, the mycorrhizae are able to thrive. All while extending farther than roots are capable of on their own. This symbiotic relationship allows mycorrhizae, trees, and plants to flourish.
Did you know? Mushrooms are actually the fruited bodies of the mycorrhizae!
Do my trees need the mycorrhizae fungi?
In truth, without the mycorrhizae, many trees and plants would not be capable of surviving. Roots alone are just not enough to feed your trees and plants on their own, they need additional assistance if they are to reach their full potential for growth. The mycorrhizae need your trees as well, without the trade of sugar and carbohydrates for water and nutrients, the mycorrhizae would be incapable of survival.
Unfortunately, in urban areas, the soil is often disturbed to the point of completely depleting the mycorrhizae fungi population. When this happens your tree’s growth will falter and may be at risk for disease. Deep root fertilizing will be the best thing for your tree in these cases. Here at Tree Doctors, we will be able to examine your tree and provide it the right mix of nutrients and minerals to give your tree the boost it needs.
If you would you like to fertilize trees on your property in Toronto, contact Tree Doctors for spring tree fertilizing right away! Our highly skilled and fully equipped arborists are always happy to provide cost-effective solutions to any of your tree care needs!