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Paying attention to the canopy and visible parts of a tree is not the only way to maintain tree health and vigor. Make sure you’re not overlooking how a tree is growing at the root collar where the tree goes into the ground.

Trees that are planted too deeply will often develop roots that grow up towards the soil surface and around the trunk. These are called girdling roots, and they may not become apparent or affect tree health until years or even decades after planting. As the tree grows with this condition, it can become choked off by its roots, and if they are severely engulfed in a tree’s collar, the damage may be irreversible.

How do you know if your tree has girdling roots?  

Look for:

  • A tree that is flat on one or more sides of the trunk near the ground
  • A tree should flare at the base and not look like a telephone pole in the ground

Other clues:

  • Is the tree displaying considerable dieback?
  • Are the leaves wilted, stunted, or changing color prematurely?

Trees with girdling roots can recover if the condition is detected early. Our arborists use specialized equipment to excavate around the base of trees where girdling roots are suspected and remove offending roots.

If you suspect your tree has this condition, contact us for a consultation.