The Hidden Epidemic Killing Your Trees - Complete Landsculpture

The Hidden Epidemic Killing Your Trees

We’ve written before about the importance of tree care and how trees are low maintenance, not no maintenance. They are your property’s most valuable asset, and you should treat them as such.

While you don’t need round the clock care to keep your trees happy, there are specific warning signs and issues you should keep an eye out for.

Today we want to focus on root flare and girdling roots, a phenomenon that may be slowly and silently strangling your trees.

The Basics

Before diving in, you need to understand a few terms. If you recognize these words, feel free to skip ahead. If not, this article will be much more helpful if you understand these terms.

  • Root Flare: The part of a plant (in this specific case, trees) that thicken and grow above the ground where the trunk meets the underground roots. This is the part of the tree base that transitions to the root system — also referred to as the root collar.
  • Girdling Root: A root that grows around the trunk of the tree, essentially strangling it.

Arborists, like our team of highly trained experts, have been seeing an increase in girdling roots as more and more trees are being planted and growing in unnatural environments that leave their root systems vulnerable to unusually small and confined spaces.

Trees grown in nurseries with poor planting practices often introduce girdling roots into new landscapes. However, other culprits include spaces in backyards, near homes, sidewalks or roads—making it crucial you consult an arborist when making a plan for trees in your landscape.

The Damage of Girdling Roots

Definitely ranks at the top of the list of how to kill a tree in your landscape. Girdling roots will wrap around a tree and slowly suffocate them, cutting off its source to water and nutrients. It can occur when a tree has been planted too deeply or even when too much topsoil has been added.

Prevention is always your best option to stay on top of your tree care and ensure your landscape is not at risk here are some of the warning signs and symptoms to be aware of.

  • Flattened trunk on one side.
  • No visible root flare at the soil surface (telephone pole appearance).
  • The tree is late to leaf or is producing smaller than normal leaves.
  • Visible roots circling the trunk above the surface.
  • The tree seems to be dying from the top down.
  • Early fall color and leaf drop.

We Can Help

Have you recognized any of these symptoms? If you have or you can’t quite tell it’s always best to get an expert opinion.

Give our team a call, and we’ll send one of our certified arborists out to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with.

Our team of experts can walk you through possible treatments, such as root excavations, as well as a routine tree care plan to keep your trees healthy and happy!

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