Girdling Roots: Symptoms You Should Watch for

Have you ever tried wearing a belt around your waist (or a corset!) with someone else tightening it for you? If you answered yes, then you probably already have an idea about what girdling roots can do to a tree! Just imagine getting squeezed tighter and tighter, and you will understand why girdling roots must be dealt with right away.

Girdling roots are roots which grow across or around tree trunks or other roots. As a provider of services such as tree removal in Contra Costa County, let us tell you that there are 2 types of girdling roots that can cause damage:

  1. strapping root which crosses over one side of the root system or the trunk
  2. circling root which wraps around the tree’s trunk.

At Better City Tree Services, Inc., girdling roots are part of our clients’ few concerns. But actually, they are more common than you may realize. As they limit the movement of water and nutrients, they eventually cause affected trunks to become weaker and more unstable. Studies show that trees may die within five to fifteen years’ time as a result of girdling roots alone, or along with other environmental stresses.

The symptoms of girdling roots manifest as trees mature, but these problems generally start when the trees are still young. Possible indications often include a thin or sparse canopy of leaves, off-colored or slightly yellow leaves, frost crack or sunscald, and wilting or scorching leaves. Trees may also have no visible root flare at the surface of the soil, or their trunks may appear to be pinched at the surface. As a company offering quality tree service in Bay Point, we recommend that you treat the problem promptly so as to avoid greater damage.

Cultural practices such as irrigation and tree trimming in Walnut Creek usually does not offset the effects of girdled roots. So, as soon as a young tree shows signs of them, girdling roots must be cut. For tips on what to do, contact us.


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