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Stem Girdling Roots

"Stem girdling roots" is a disorder caused by abnormal growth of tree roots in a circular pattern around a stem. As the roots and stem grow, they begin to exert pressure on each other which inhibits some normal tree functions. Stem girdling roots can cause tree health to decline and potentially cause failure in storms or high winds.

root aeration

stem girdling roots


An exploratory assessment is done by excavating the area near the base of the tree using a high pressure air tool called an Air Spade™, which removes soil without damaging tree roots.

This assessment sets the course of future rejuvenation treatments, assuming the tree's condition is not too far advanced. Treatments such as fertilization, mulching, aeration, and irrigation are then recommended based on site conditions and tree health.



The removal
of problematic


Commonly affected species:

  • Norway maple
  • Red maple
  • Linden
  • Ash

Symptoms include:

  • Leaf scorch
  • Abnormally stunted foliage and growth
  • Thin foliage
  • A lack of trunk flares (fencepost appearance)


Stem Girdling Roots  
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