Root Zone Excavation
Did you know one of the biggest tree problems can be caused by the growth pattern of a tree's own roots? Some trees, like many maples, are prone to a condition referred to as girdling roots, in which roots circle in compacted soils and grow over each other, effectively constricting the uptake of the vascular system. Water and nutrients cannot move to the upper canopy, causing dieback that can spread, eventually killing the tree. Circling roots are common in landscaping trees planted from nursery stock, as the holes dug for planting are usually much less compact than the earth in which the hole is dug. Roots cannot penetrate the cylindrical area of the planting hole and circle around the less compact soil, crossing over each other as a result. Girdling roots can sometimes be seen around the base of the tree at the surface, but excavation allows us to observe sub-surface girdling roots as well. We use specialized Air Spade equipment to dig around the roots without damaging them in order to assess how much of the root system is girdling and if it will be helpful to consider a physical treatment for girdling roots.