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Trees, Shrubs and Conifers: Girdling roots

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Forum: Trees, Shrubs and ConifersReplies: 6, Views: 101
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El Paso, TX

May 14, 2013
10:18 AM

Post #9520268

I have been reading a lot about girdling roots on trees. My Chitalpa has a few near the surface that I can see. They are not very big yet, but I think one is leaning a bit on the stem. Can I remove them now before my tree establishes itself? Its only been planted about two weeks. They are still pretty loose even the one that is leaning a bit unto the stem. I am still able to easily move it with my fingers. Can I remove them now before they get bigger?

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Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 14, 2013
10:29 AM

Post #9520284

I would say: Yes, and yes.
Russell, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 15, 2013
3:17 AM

Post #9521107

If it has only been in the ground two weeks I would be sorely tempted to lift it to make sure the rest of the roots are spread out properly. If they are in as bad a shape as the ones that you can see it can spell trouble in the long run.
Depends on the size of the tree, I guess- if it is too big to wrangle it's too big to wrangle.
If it is larger and a nursery planted it for you I would be very unhappy- this all should have been addressed before it was planted.
El Paso, TX

May 29, 2013
8:53 AM

Post #9538259

Thank you very much, I did cut those two roots, they were strange, very short roots but I removed them. Yes this tree is very large, it did not seem this large at the nursery. This tree has a habit of forming long tap roots straight down from the trunk. I know this because I have tried to dig them ut of the wild and I was not successful at all. :(

I am wondering if it would be possible to do a little excavating from the top down? I did a little and the remainder roots are more fine than those odd strangling roots were at the top.


Lititz, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 1, 2013
2:22 PM

Post #9542251

I know you just 'fixed' the problem but since planting a tree is sort of a shock in itself, cutting large roots can be even more stressful. I would strongly suggest adding some Biotone or similar product to enhance root growth and alleviate transplant stress. It has beneficial bacteria that help with those things as well as being a light feed.
El Paso, TX

June 14, 2013
10:17 PM

Post #9559534

Thank you Sequoiadendron4, I did actually add some root growth enhancers I was concerned about the shock as well. Now I am learning this tree does not like too much water. It does better if I skip a few days. This is sort of frustrating since the nursery said to water it daily but it seems to shoot out new leaves when I let a few days sit in between waterings even though we are in 100 degree weather right now.


Lititz, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 17, 2013
4:44 AM

Post #9561888

Wow...well sometimes nurseries don't have all the answers and it's best to do a little investigating to make sure their story lines up with what you can find online. Good luck with it!

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