Mechanical Analysis of Root Anchorage

Mechanical Analysis of Root Anchorage

CD BioSciences combines the theory of plant biomechanics with experimental observations and mechanical tests to provide customers with a mechanical analysis of root anchorage. Our expert technical support will help clients to elucidate the variability in root morphology and root development and provide an experimental basis for promoting stability in plantations, amenity trees and crops.


The strength of root anchorage depends on the root system topology as well as the structure and characteristics of the soil in which the tree grows. Plants have a variety of different anchoring systems, for example, monocots have coronal or prop root systems and larger herbaceous dicots and trees have plate systems. Tree winch studies with simulated wind loads applied to tree trunks have now been used to assess the root anchorage strength of different tree species growing on different soil types.

Past studies have shown that root anchorage strength is positively correlated with certain metrics of tree size, such as tree height, diameter at breast height, stem volume or stem mass. However, much remains unclear about the anchoring mechanisms of plants, especially in relation to root development and agricultural soil mechanics. Nevertheless, the foundations have been laid for future research which could help to reveal aspects of root biology, such as their strength distribution and sensitivity to mechanical stimuli, and point out the way for the development of more stable cereal crops and forestry trees.

Plant and environmental parameters used to calculate anchorage strength. Fig.1 Plant and environmental parameters used to calculate anchorage strength. (Berry, 2002)

Our Services

We help our customers to determine the anchoring mechanics of different systems by directly observing the movement of the root system, as well as measuring the torque required and the surface strain around the root system as the plant is pulled down. Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of the structural resistance of trees to wind and gravity loads.
  • Determination of root values in tree anchoring, including root number, root diameter, root density per soil volume, and associated root cross-sectional area.
  • In-situ direct observation of root morphology and the movement of the root system and surrounding soil to determine how the anchoring system fails when the plant is pushed over.
  • Measure the torque required to pull the plant down. Measurement of the torque throughout the process allows further information about the mechanics to be gleaned, as well as the total anchorage strength of the plant.
  • Examination of the state of the tissue around the root and stem base surfaces by attaching strain gauges during the uprooting process.
  • Determination of the relative importance of the possible components of the anchorage by carrying out consecutive tension tests.
  • Mechanical testing of the root system or soil to help establish an understanding of the anchorage system.

Applications of Models of Anchorage

  • Understanding root system morphology
  • Understanding the thigmomorphogenic responses of roots
  • Improving the stability of plantation and crop plants

In order to provide our customers with services in the field of root anchorage mechanics, CD BioSciences has developed a range of techniques to identify the various 'anchorage components' and quantify their relative importance. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us directly for more details.


  1. Berry, P. M.; et al. Lodging control through variety choice and management. Proceedings of the 8th Home-Grown Cereals Association R & D Conference on Cereals and Oilseeds. 2002: 7-1.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
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CD BioSciences is a biotechnology company focused on biophysical services. We are proficient in both chemistry and biophysics, and have a comprehensive biophysical platform containing a wide range of advanced technologies.

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