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Trees with Girdling Roots

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#1 Janet Macunovich

Janet Macunovich


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Posted 21 May 2020 - 03:42 PM

Let's help everyone out - post those photos here that you take to send to me and Steven to ask "How can I save this tree? It seems to have the root problems you showed us in Plant it Well Even if The Roots are Wrong.* I didn't know all that back when I planted it."


*(You can watch that on our Youtube channel.)   




Then we can all see the problems and talk about rescue operations!


For instance, J.S. sent this photo, from the base of a 100' maple:



And we say, chisel that root at the lines marked below and lift that obstruction to trunk growth out of there.



Chisel, not saw, or saw only starter cuts then chisel because you must be careful not to cut into the bark of the rightful trunk and roots. If it's the only root like that around the tree base you have bought the tree many years of life. If there are more roots like that, call an arborist to have the tree's growth rate evaluated, the other girdles cut out, and a timetable set to watch for improvement or decide on other action.

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