Girdling Root Syndrome

Girdling root syndrome is a tree a condition that is fatal to a tree. Fortunately, there are treatments that can be implemented if the condition is caught early. The issue is usually identified by a thin canopy, discolored leaves, the tree’s trunk not flaring at the surface of the soil, flat spots on the trunk, and leaf drop. The trunk of the tree may also appear as if it has been frost-cracked or sun-scalded. Lindens and maples tend to be the most susceptible to this condition.

What makes a tree fall victim to girdling root syndrome is roots that are planted too deeply into the soil. This causes the roots to grow toward the surface rather than down and out. They grow toward the surface because the roots need water and nutrients so the tree can survive. Over time, these roots will compromise the tree’s structure and this will cause the tree to bend and its canopy to be bare or thin. The roots aren’t considered “girdling” until they grow close to the trunk, but the growth pattern is problematic the moment the roots start growing the wrong direction.

Tree Treatment

If your tree is showing signs of girdling root syndrome, it is important to have it treated by our Minneapolis tree service as soon as possible. When the issue is caught quickly, we can perform a root excavation. What this means is we make a number of surgical cuts that will keep nutrients and water flowing into the trunk of the tree. This will stabilize the tree and extend its life.

If girdling root syndrome is not caught soon enough, it will be best to cut down the tree. This is because the tree’s structure is going to become weaker and weaker as it dies, creating a safety hazard. Weak and dead trees can fall under stress from the weather or they fall the moment the ground beneath them becomes the least bit unstable.


One way in which you can prevent girdling root syndrome is to consult with us after a tree has been planted on your property. We can evaluate whether or not it is planted too deep. If you wish to ensure that the tree is planted properly, we can do this for you and ensure that girdling root syndrome never becomes a problem in your yard.

Contact A Professional Tree Service Today!

Whether you need to have an unstable tree removed because of girdling root syndrome, a tree treated for the condition, or you simply want to make sure it never happens, we can help you. Call us today at 1-800-311-3919 and an expert from our staff will come to you and give you a free quote after a thorough evaluation.