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While many of us look up to recognize the beauty of tree foliage, what happens at the base of the tree is also key to maintaining good health.

Trees planted too deeply in soil can develop what’s known as girdling roots. This happens when the roots encircle or “girdle” at the base and greatly reduce the natural flow of tree sap.

What are the signs of trouble?

  • A tree that looks like a telephone poll stuck in the ground. Trees should flare at the base.
  • A tree that appears to be flattened on one or more sides of the trunk.

Investigate tree tops for more clues:

  • Is the canopy full or is there significant dieback?
  • Are leaves…
    • Wilting?
    • Stunted?
    • Premature fall coloration?

A qualified arborist can check for damage from girdling roots using special tools. If detected early, a tree can recover from the disorder.

If you suspect an issue with girdling roots in your yard, give American Tree Experts a call.

“Root “choking” a tree stem” flickr photo by Scot Nelson shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license