multiple tap roots

Asked May 25, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

Is it possible for a fruit tree (Apricot) to have multiple "tap" roots, or a bifurcated tap root structure? Excavation work affected the root zone of the tree, and soon thereafter, one of the main boughs coming up from the trunk died. We believe that a sinkhole that has since developed is the result of the root rotting away and creating a pathway for water to travel in the direction of the excavation via the decayed root path. The rest of the tree continued to thrive after cutting off the dead bough. Is it possible that the tree had multiple tap roots which saved the rest of the tree from dying?

Adams County Washington

1 Response

Apricots do typically develop a tap root, but even trees with tap roots have a substantial number of surface roots as well. Therefore it is certainly possible that the tree survived due to it's tap root despite a major injury to a large amount of it's surface root system. As far as forming multiple tap roots, apricots are not known to do that generally, but soil type sometimes plays a role in how tap roots develop on trees. Deep, loose soils will generally yield long, deep tap roots, while harder clay soils may cause plants to develop multiple tap roots that are shallower.