What to Do About Girdling Tree Roots in Alexandria, MN?  

Girdling roots weaken trees and make them unstable. This scenario typically occurs when lateral roots at (or sometimes just below) the soil surface encircle or cut into the main tree trunk, restricting the flow of water and nutrients.  As the go-to tree service in Alexandria, MN, the Tree Trimmers crew explores the causes, signs, correction, and prevention of girdling roots.  

What Causes Roots to Girdle?  

Roots girdle primarily because of poor planting/transplanting. When a tree remains in its nursery for too long, the roots, having nowhere else to go, can circle the bottom of the pot. Failing to loosen these roots during the planting process can lead to girdling roots.  

The same process occurs when you plant a tree in a hole that is too small: the roots start circling each other and develop into girdling roots.  

Other causes of girdling roots include proximity to obstructions like curbs and foundations, heavily compacted soil, and leaving pieces of debris or a planting container in the planting hole.  

Symptoms of Girdling Roots  

Fortunately, you can easily spot girdling roots. The most apparent symptom of girdling roots is an abnormal trunk flare. The trunk of a healthy tree will typically flare out where it meets the ground. A tree with girdling roots will have a straight or even narrower trunk.  

You may also spot circling roots above the soil line, though girdling roots usually occur just below the surface. These roots can negatively impact the fall color of your leaves, causing them to display less vibrant hues.   

Other less obvious signs of trees with girdling roots include canopy dieback, small leaves, and early leaf drop.   

Treating and Prevention of Girdling Tree Roots  

Digging the correct-size planting hole can help prevent many issues including girdling roots. Make the planting hole two to three times as wide as the root ball but no deeper than the root ball. Avoid placing soil above the root flare or mulch against the trunk.  

If you notice roots encircling the base of the root ball, break these up before planting to allow for normal root development. Water newly planted trees consistently and inspect the root flare for defects occasionally.  

You can remove girdling roots but consider hiring a tree care expert to avoid damaging the tree. In severe cases, girdling roots may compromise the tree’s stability, necessitating tree removal.  

Trust Your Local Tree Care Experts  

Now that you know what to do about girdling tree roots, you can take measures to ensure your trees remain healthy and stable for years to come. Trust our Tree Trimmers crew to help you handle girdling tree roots effectively and professionally. We also offer various tree care solutions including:  

  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Tree removal  
  • Land and lot clearing  
  • Storm damage  

Are you wondering what causes large holes in tree trunks? Count on our experts to diagnose and treat any issues your trees may face.  

Call Tree Trimmers today at (218) 205-2229 to get a free estimate for tree service in Alexandria, MN.  

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