Girdling roots?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by SLR2009, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi, do these look like girdling roots on my Acer? Thanks
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes. And the bark beneath is starting to deteriorate already.
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning SLR2009, yes they do I'm afraid, it looks like you have started to remove some already. Can be quite a tricky procedure, but necessary..
     
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  4. SLR2009

    SLR2009 Active Member 10 Years

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    what do you recommend I do?
     
  5. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning @SLR2009, I would dig around your tree and expose the girdling roots, then carefully remove the offending root shown in the photo with a sharp pruning saw, taking care not to cut into the trunk bark.
    IMO it is only a matter of time before the root strangles the tree, ie all the bark is rotted away. But as long as it hasn't girdled the trunk 'completely', there is a chance of rescue.
    Once surgery has been completed ensure you expose the root flare and do 'not' bury up to the trunk. This also ensures you can keep an eye on what is going on in future.
    Good luck.
     
  6. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

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    Every time I check this thread I feel that it needs to be said that:

    It is far easier to take care of girdling roots when one first obtains the tree. Knock off the pot and dig around in the soil to get rid of them before planting. Often times the standard gardeners procedure of making a number of vertical cuts through the soil+root plug is sufficient.

    But I fear that I am just being a petty know-it-all in saying it.
    But I've now said it.
     
  7. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Not at all J, you are spot on and it did need to be said.
     
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  8. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Goes to show how long you can bumble on with reasonable success but not really know what you’re doing (I am solely speaking about myself!). I have never paid much attention to this..here we have 2 prime examples..both are 20 year old potted trees..that will get sorted on the weekend! The rogue roots have grown up and over in the second photo..fortunately there’s no damage to the trunk, it’s just dark because of some soil and it’s been wet.

    Thanks to all you knowledgeable contributors for guiding and helping us along the way
     

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
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  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I think R every one of us would say the same. We are never too long in the tooth to learn.
    Do post photos after the pruning out of those dratted girdling roots.
     

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