One of the largest issues that prevents the long term success and survival of a container grown and planted tree are girdling roots. This phenomenon can take a healthy plant and slowly cause it to degrade over time. If you think you have a tree with girdling roots, call us today at 817-882-6499 for root pruning and flare exposure in Fort Worth, TX.
The Girdling Root Story:
Trees coming from nurseries or tree farms are primarily grown in containers or buckets until they are planted. When trees are growing in containers, their roots start growing in a circle along the edge of the container, this increases the longer a tree is left in a container. If these root are not cut or removed when the tree is planted or moved to a larger container, they will continue to grow in a circle. Sometimes these circling roots will cause a new tree to fail to root and establish itself, falling over all the time and continually having to be staked; these trees usually do not survive too long. Other times the tree will root okay and start to grow, showing no negative effects from the circling roots (often buried too deep below ground). Until one day you start to see the tree getting thinner at the top, leaves may be lighter in color, there may be increased insect or disease activity, and it may start to dieback; at this point the trunk has expanded to the point where the circling roots have now become girdling roots. These girdling roots are choking, compressing the xylem and phloem in the cambium layer, stopping the flow of water and nutrients up the trunk. The tree usually won’t make it if this has begun to happen, the roots are too large and grafted together to be removed. The whole tree will need to be removed or it will continue to decline and die. It is a sad story, but there is good news! If action is taken early, the tree can usually be saved!
Root flares should be exposed for a number of reasons, but on young planted trees it is most important to locate and remove all the circling roots while they are small and before they become girdling roots. It is sad to see a tree that has looked great for 10-15 years suddenly decline and die over something that could have been fixed rather easily if they had known what needed to be done early on.
Root flare exposure isn’t just important for young trees, all trees should have their root flares exposed. Having dirt, mulch, and sometimes even thick ivy and ground cover on top of the root flare and on and around the trunk holds moisture against the bark tissue, this can cause the bark to start to rot, allowing insects and diseases to more easily enter the tree. Having the soil too high around the trunk or the tree planted too deep can suffocate the feeder roots as well.
Contact us today at 817-882-6499 for root pruning and flare exposure in Fort Worth, TX. We are dedicated to helping our community by providing quality tree care services for improved health and longevity of our local trees.