Hairy Roots In Soil - Knowledgebase Question

Clarksburg, WV
Avatar for sqdancr83
Question by sqdancr83
August 9, 2000
In one of my flower beds, there are bunches of hairy roots
that seem to be taking over the soil. Also the plants I
have planted there do not seem to be doing well. The
box was filled with soil that came from near a barn.
What could these hairy roots be and are they destroying
my plants.

Answer from NGA
August 9, 2000
Unfortunatley, based on your description I am not able to identify the hairy roots with certainty. It is possible that some sort of unusual fungus is growing through the soil, but I suspect that a neighboring tree with invasive roots has sent some as far as your flower bed. (Tree roots can extend well beyond the overhanging tree branches.) Off hand I don't know of any reason why soil from near a barn would cause a problem such as this, however a well improved and nicely loosened area of soil is very attractive to those roaming tree roots. You might want to consult with your county extension (624-8650) and see if they have any suggestions as to what it is. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.

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