The advent of the postgenomics era has led to increased interest in exploring the role of gene networks and signaling pathways in controlling plant development. The last two decades have seen a particular increase in the number of studies focusing on the development of the Arabidopsis thaliana root system. However, the investigation of such a seemingly simple system as an Arabidopsis root can lead to problems in quantification and errors in interpretation if knowledge of root organization is lacking. In this article, we identify a number of these problems and give examples of potentially erroneous and correct determinations of lateral root parameters. Our aim is to bring this important issue to the attention of the plant science community and to suggest ways in which the problems inherent in quantifying the process of lateral root development can be avoided.