Root and Trunk Girdling
There are a lot of contributing factors that either hinder or help tree root structure. Many of these factors occur at the time of planting and how it was grown. Girdling roots develop from poor root structure.
When the roots become bound around themselves or the trunk, this is called girdling. Girdling concerns are often hidden from sight. Sometimes roots are bound by a foreign item such as rope or burlap from planting. Other times the girdling comes from the roots growing around in a circle and choking off the tree. Girdling causes the tree not to be able to move carbohydrates, water, and nutrients between roots and leaves.
Initially, you may see one side of the tree flattening or branches dying back. In the past, we were limited to digging to reveal root girdling. Today, we can use an air spade to dislodge soil and reveal girdled roots. Then a simple root pruning can be done, and compost tea is then added to revive the tree that previously was affected. Corrective action will give the tree a fighting chance!