When repotting a clerendendron I noted a prominent nebari root growing across the trunk of the tree. It wasn’t really unsightly but it was disrupting the line of the trunk and with more years and a thicker development it would become an eyesore.

Prominent root growing across the trunk

It has nice movement but it detracts from the trunk and this will increase as the root thickens. If it had started nearer the right side of the trunk it could have been utilised in the design but from the left… well… things need to happen at repotting time… doesn’t matter how good looking it is.

After removal

The root has been removed, there is more visual strength to the trunk and the nebari is no longer obscured. The trunk has good stability and looks neater with the removal of the crossing root.

Now, a confession…. it really didn’t have to go… it was at the back of the tree and you can just see a bit protruding on the left near the base. But, sometimes trees change their front and today’s back can become tomorrow’s front, so it is good practice to keep your roots in good design all around the tree. The only reason I can see to keep a root like this is, if the main roots were insufficient to enhance the health of the tree so leaving this sort of root could be good practice until the tree develops sufficient roots to allow the removal of a crossing root. Similarly, I have left an aggressive front root on a new olive to enable the tree to recover from deprivation and eventually it will be removed, but now is not the time.

Always balance design with the tree’s needs. Always keep the health of the tree in mind. Clerendendron are robust growers and the root removal won’t bother it but if there is any doubt… leave the root for a season.