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Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11548
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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We have a Schewndler Maple. The tree roots are encircling

Customer Question

we have a Schewndler Maple. The tree roots are encircling the trunk just belograde. Some branches are losing leaves. What can/should we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in Arboriculture. I'm sorry to hear your maple has this problem.When a root encircles the trunk like this, it is called a girdling root. Such roots cut off the transport of water and nutrients up and down the trunk. Girdling roots are caused by poor genetics, a tree left to grow in a pot too long when young, planting too deeply, piling mulch around the trunk, and sometimes, it just happens for no apparent reason. Symptoms of a girdling root include a thinning crown, early lead drop, and dying twigs first. Later on, larger branches begin to die, and the tree will not live a normal life span.Sometimes girdling roots can be cut off to save a tree. This has to be done very carefully to avoid injuring the trunk even more. In some cases, it is too risky to remove the girdling root. The best first step is to have a certified arborist examine the tree. The arborist can determine how much the tree has already been damaged or if it is too late. He/she will also know the best way to remove the root. If you need help finding an arborist, give me your location and I'll help.If you choose to cut off the root yourself, you need to be aware that you could damage the trunk so that the process of the tree dying will begin immediately. However, some people do remove girdling roots successfully on their own.If you have more questions, or need help finding an arborist, just let me know. I hope that whatever you decide to do, you'll be able to save your maple.Anna