A taproot system contrasts to a fibrous root system with many branched roots.
Most trees begin life with a taproot, but after one to a few years the main root system changes to a wide-spreading fibrous root system with mainly horizontal growing surface roots and only a few vertical, deep anchoring roots. A typical mature tree 30–50 m tall has a root system that extends horizontally in all directions as far as the tree is tall or more, but well over 95% of the roots are in the top 50 cm depth of soil.
Many taproots are modified into storage organs.
Some plants with taproots:
Taproots develop from the radicle of the seed, which forms the primary root. It produces branches called the secondary roots, and they in turn produce branches to form tertiary roots. These may further branch to form rootlets.