Facts About Stem Girdling Tree Roots

When you imagine the roots of a tree, you likely envision a sprawling root system that expands both above and below ground, and out away from the tree. You would not, however, picture a tree’s root system wrapping itself around the base of the tree. But this odd root behavior is actually possible; a phenomenon known as tree root stem girdling.

Continue reading to learn more about stem girdling tree roots, including what causes them and what you can do about it.

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Trees With Girdling Roots

When the roots of a tree grow in a way that circles around the trunk, it is called stem girdling. This defunct growth can occur above ground and beneath the soil. Roots will appear as if they are strangling the tree, causing it to suffocate; and this is not far from reality. Stem girdling tree roots can in fact reduce or block a tree’s ability to get properly distribute nutrients and water to the rest of the tree.

Common Causes

Stem girdling can happen to any type of tree, but here in Indiana, the most common trees to experience root girdling are maple and linden trees. There are many reasons why tree roots grow in a girdling fashion, but the most common reason has to do with the manner in which the tree was planted. Improper tree planting can cause a long list of problems, including poor tree health. A common side effect of poor tree health is root girdling.

Common improper tree planting practices that can pose a girdling risk include making the hole too small or too deep, or not loosening up container roots prior to planting. Even post-planting improper tree care can lead to stem girdling roots, such as applying too much mulch against the trunk of the tree.

Detecting Tree Root Girdling

It is easy to detect tree root girdling when the roots are above ground, but when they are below, you will have to learn the signs in order to spot them. The most tell-tale signs of below-ground tree root girdling include thinning canopies, bare branches, dead branches, and leaf discoloration. Also, if the trunk looks like it goes directly into the ground, without any curved taper at the base, it could be indicative of girdling.

Solutions For Trees With Girdled Roots

The only way to solve a stem girdling tree root problem is to dig up the base of the tree, chisel down the roots, and apply the best practices for tree care. Talk to a local Indianapolis tree service expert for tree care advice and assistance you can trust.

Professional Indianapolis Indiana Tree Services You Can Count On

Call Complete Tree Care at 317-783-2518 for prompt and professional Indianapolis tree services you can afford. We are experienced tree care technicians that can resolve your tree problems, regardless of your projects size or scope. We offer a wide range of tree removal and tree services, for both residential and commercial properties. We even offer free estimates and free tree care advice!

Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518
Indianapolis Tree Care 317-783-2518