Caution #1 There is a huge issue with Girdled trees! Pull all mulch or soil away from stem for 4-6” (never place mulch in this area of tree stem). Check status of stem where it enters soil – is there any roots wrapped around the base of the tree? Is there a stem flare present? If you see wrapping roots, they must be cut away. If no flare is evident, you probably have sub-surface roots wrapped around stem. Notify us for inspection.
NOTE: Many girdled trees are introduced by way of tub-grown trees (potted trees). It is one of the new efficiency standards of the green industry and it is also a curse against many otherwise healthy trees.
Caution #2 If you sense and see the extraordinary level of plant stress in your landscape and want to deliver help, here are a few tips:
A. Do not over water – root systems need a 2-3 day period to exchange gasses and absorb oxygen following heavy rain or watering. Distribute approximately 1-2” of surface water over the entire drip line area, then repeat in 2-3 days.
B. Fertilizing – do not use a high nitrogen or synthetic or salt-based fertilizer. In stressed trees and plants a low nitrogen organic fertilizer is a much better solution. We recommend Holly Tone or Plant Tone, applied in fall or spring at 1# per inch of stem diameter (if applying on surface cover with light layer of much). Ideal is to punch numerous 6-8” deep holes at every 2-3’ grid pattern within drip systems of the tree or plant
Caution #3 Please avoid shearing evergreens following September 15th. This includes (but limited to) Hollies, Rhododendrons, Azaleas, etc. Shearing late in the year often fails to heal properly leaving the foliage vulnerable to excessive drying and desiccation.
Girdled Roots- Girdling roots are those that wind up growing around the trunk of a tree rather than out into the surrounding soil. As the girdling root and the trunk of the tree grow in diameter, the girdling root slowly chokes off the flow of water and nutrients to the tree. Girdling roots may be clearly visible above the soil line, but they are often found below ground.
Symptoms include reduced growth, smaller-than-normal leaves, fewer-than-normal leaves, lighter green leaf color, branch dieback and the eventual death of affected trees. These symptoms are frequently seen just on the side of the tree where the offending root is growing. The trunk may look flattened on that side, too. Girdling roots do not become obvious until five to 20 years after a tree is planted, and it happens so gradually that people often do not realize there is a problem until it is too late. Information provided by TreeBoss.net
Normal Stem Flare- This correctly planted mature oak shows the natural root flare. In addition, mulch has been applied correctly about 3-4 inches deep and several inches away from the stem. Information provided by TreeBoss.