Everything you ever wanted to know about Girdling Roots but were afraid to ask!



Girdling Roots? Mark, what are Girdling Roots? What does that have anything to do with tree healthcare? My name is Mark Russell. Uh-oh, 770-ARBORIST. Coming to you with a new video today. Sorry, it’s been awhile. Been in the office. And we’re talking about Girdling Roots. What are Girdling Roots? Well, just like a girdle, they wrap around the trunk and we’re going to look at the results. Look at this guy. Tree with Girdling Roots. Uh-oh, lots of problems. Leaves are going away, okay. Versus right over here, no Girdling Roots, lot better leaf structure. Lot better life. So let’s look closely at what Girdling Roots are and is there any sort of prevention? ‘Kay, so here we are. This Cherry, this is a Girdling Root. The way that they’re formed is when the landscaper plants the tree typically if the tree sits in the pot too long the roots will start growing around the side of the pot.

So when you dig the hole and you plant the tree from potted stock, you really need to make sure if there’s big roots to pull them out. If you let them sit, as the trunk gets bigger, they don’t have anywhere to go, so what they do is they girdle the tree out. Check this out, guys. Listen. Do you see that? That is, okay. Hollow. Decay. This whole area is decayed. All the way to over here. Okay, so we’re talking about this entire tree, 50% has been girdled by this root. It’s got decay, showing signs of decay down here. It’s got ants and then effectively, it has eliminated the tree’s ability to feed sap up to the top. Okay, so the way that you avoid this, you can actually root prune. You couldn’t root prune this, but at times, like if this was … something like this as an example, you could potentially clip that little guy, that’s about an inch, half an inch, inch and three quarters of inch, you could clip that.

Oh, well in this case, this is already completely rotten anyway. To give life to that one down there. Okay, this had at one point you can see, this one had a Girdling Root coming across the top of that. Okay, so you can root prune Girdling Roots. You’ve got to be real careful. You do not want to root prune Buttress Roots, the big supporting roots. You can cause … like, you wouldn’t want to root prune a big root like this or a big root like that. Those are stabilizing roots, Buttress Roots, that hold the tree. But little smaller ones that are coming across the top of a tree, you can clip them real quick and that’ll free it up. Now you’ve got to remember that the most of the sap is flowing right under that bark in the cambium layer, okay. So the sap when it gets … when it girdles like this, it’s real easy to prevent sap flow and then you get die out.

Okay, so that’s Girdling Roots, guys. If you see a tree with a smaller root going around the trunk, you can clip it. You need to clip it because as it gets bigger, it’ll press in and this is just a great example of a tree that had Girdling Roots, nothing was done about it, and now, it’s a removal candidate. If you’re in the Atlanta area and you need some … North Atlanta … and you need any sort of tree needs, removal, pruning, certified arborist, give us a call. 770-ARBORIST is the number. And if this has been a helpful video, hit the subscribe button. We’ll send you more. Okay, you guys take it easy. Bye-bye.

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