Trees are majestic beings that can live for thousands of years in the right conditions. The longer a tree lives, the wider and deeper its roots will run. As property owners, we expect to see tree roots entwined and reaching out far into the landscape. What is not expected is to see a tree with its roots strangling its trunk. This type of root problem is called girdling and Five Star Tree Services is here to help you find a solution in Toronto Tree Care.
What Is Girdling?
Tree girdling is when the roots from a tree wrap around its trunk. This looks as if the roots are reaching up out of the ground to escape some catastrophe, or to strangle the tree itself. If left unchecked, the roots would stop the tree from getting moisture and nutrients which will eventually cause the tree to die. Stem girdling roots may wrap partially or completely around the trunk of a tree. This usually can be seen above the ground, but it can also occur under the soil just out of sight.
What Causes Girdling Roots?
Any tree has the potential to develop girdling roots, but the most common to do so are the linden and the maple tree. This type of root complication is usually triggered when a tree is not planted correctly. If you plant your tree in a too-small hole, it will not allow the roots to spread properly. At the same time, too deep of a hole will cause the roots to grow directly up in search of both oxygen and moisture. Transferring a plant from a container into the ground will help it grow, but forgetting to loosen the roots will cause them to girdle as the tree matures. Even when you plant a tree properly, volcano mulching around the trunk can cause the roots to girdle as well,
How to Detect Girdled Roots
Once the roots start girdling above the soil, they are easy to spot. However, the roots will initially start to choke the tree underground. When this happens, it stops key nutrients from being transported along the roots and to other parts of the tree. Water movement will also be limited, all of which will present in a few common symptoms. Canopy thinning is one of the main signs that there is a problem with the roots. Early leaf fall, early leaf color changes, and even dead branches signal that there are problems in the roots. One of the biggest signs, however, is when a tree grows straight into the soil without a flare. If it looks more like a pole than a tree, chances are the roots are choking it to death.
How to Treat Root Girdling
Thankfully, root girdling can be corrected. The soil around the base of the tree and the twisted roots, in particular, will need to be dug up. It is important to take care when correcting this issue because although the roots may be harming the tree, they are also tasked with keeping it alive. It is important to consult with a tree care specialist who can better evaluate the problem and recommend a safe course of action. If you are in need of help with your strangled tree, give Five Star Tree Services a call at (416) 990-3355. Our certified arborists are standing by to help with your root problems.