Are mango tree roots invasive? | Where to plant your mango

Mango trees do not have invasive roots but grow a large root system that matches the size of the tree. A large mango tree will grow a large, wide root system to stabilize the tree. The mango tree will also grow a large, deep central tap root which heads deep into the ground to stabilize the plant.

This article will explore all you need to know about mango roots systems including where you should plant them and how far away to keep them from your house.

Mango tree root shape

Mango tree roots grow a large central tap root and from this root, there are branches of smaller roots that split off and stretch out. Unlike palms like golden cane palms that grow a thick matting of roots near the surface of the soil mango tree will grow larger, deeper roots.

A large full grown mango tree can grow as deep as 20 feet. Keeping mango trees trimmed to a smaller size will also mean that the roots will not need to grow as large to support the roots.

If you are planting your mango tree into deep soil out in a yard, deeper roots are fantastic to keep the mango tree healthy during times of low rainfall.

Deep tap roots are the way that the roots will help to reach the deep water and nutrients keeping the plant healthy. A mango tree can grow quickly and will send down a deep root within the first few years.

A giant mango tree grown in Thailand.

Water a mango tree deeply each week when you first plant them out to encourage them to send their roots down deeper rather than keep near the surface.

Tiny roots that grow from the main roots system will absorb water and nutrients from the soil and will help the plant to thrive.

Planting mango trees near a house

Plant mango trees at least 25 feet away from your house to give their roots the space they need to grow and stabilize the plant. While the roots are not invasive they will still need the room to grow out evenly around the tree.

Mango trees can be grown in smaller spaces if they are trimmed each year and the height is kept to around 10-15 feet. I will be keeping my mango tree small and compost so I can reach the fruit and keep the width of the roots limited.

While you can’t completely control how large or where the roots will grow, keeping the tree smaller will also reduce the need for the plant to grow an immense root system.

Mango tree as a fantastic feature in your yard even if it is small. If you live in a tropical sub-tropical or even temperate climate you can give mangoes a go. Since moving to a sub-tropical climate I have been embracing these tropical fruits.

Mango trees match perfectly with the needs of citrus as they like regular water, well draining soil and mulch.

Establishing ah healthy mango tree roots system

Here are my tips to growing a mango tree with a healthy root system from start to finish.

1. Improve the soil first

Before planting out a new grafted or seedling mango tree improve the soil with some compost and aged cow manure. I have actually raised the soil height slightly to allow better drainage and a thicker covering of improved soil in my garden bed.

I like to mix this through with a fork and loosen the soil at the same time. This makes the perfect, slightly raised space to grow my new seedling mango tree.

2. Mulch

Mulch is essential to support a healthy root system for a mango tree. Mulch will keep the soil more consistently damp while it is establishing, prevent weeds and support soil bacteria and worms. Adding a 2-3 inch layer of sugar cane, pea straw or tree mulch is all you need to achieve this.

The worms will dig their way through the soil creating small air pockets allowing the small mango tree roots to grow through. All of this will happen out of sight under the ground but is supported by the layer of mulch.

3. Fertilize

Establishing a healthy root system on your mango tree will be helped by adding fertilizer made from natural ingredients. Pelleted chicken manure can be added on top of the soil when you first plant out your mango tree and added each month during Spring.  

This is really all a mango tree will need each year to keep it healthy. The chicken manure contains a mix of nutrients that feed the plant and will be broken down by soil bacteria.

Are mango tree roots destructive?

Mango tree roots are not generally destructive but it is best to plant it away from your house to give it the room it needs to establish.  Allowing 25 feet of space between the trunk of the tree and house will give the roots plenty of room to grow and also avoid any branches from hitting against your house.

Do mango trees have big roots?

Mango tree have a large central tap root which will grow deep into the soil. This root will absorb water deeper in the ground. Smaller secondary and tertiary roots will grow off of this central tap root also absorbing water and nutrients for the plant.

The stabilization of the tree comes from the combination of the central tap roots and smaller roots that extend from this point. These types of roots system are often thought to be like a mirror of the tree under the ground.

If you imagine the height and size of the branches above, you can think of a similar height and depth of roots under the ground as the tree grows.

Are mango tree roots invasive? | Summary

Mango trees do not have invasive roots but they can grow large to stabilize the tree. Give your tree equal space under the ground to mirror the size of the tree that you want to grow above the ground. I like to keep all of my fruit trees small by trimming because I only have a tiny urban garden.

If you have a larger yard, you can let your mango grow into a large tree with an equally large root system. You will have mangoes for days with a large tree and a deep roots system will keep it growing well even in dry conditions.

Happy gardening.