Tree Care Tips

Root Girdling

A girdling root is a root that grows in a circular or spiral pattern around the trunk or at or below the soil line, gradually strangling the trunk.  As roots circle the trunk, they can slow, and eventually cut off the flow of sap in the tree. Carbohydrates produced by the leaves, through photosynthesis, are unable to move through the phloem to the roots.

Trees with girdling roots tend to decline over a 5-10 year period. Red and sugar maples, American beech, pines, oaks and elms, most often develop girdling roots.

Many symptoms of girdling roots are caused by a weakened root system unable to supply adequate water or nutrients to leaves, but among the most common is a damaged, thin crown and stunted growth.  Reduced sap flow also makes the tree more susceptible to insects, disease, and environmental stress.

Finding a cure for your girdled roots, particularly ones with larger diameters, requires expertise. Tree Care can return your trees to full health. It starts with a house call. Call 815-965-5757.