Girdling roots can also cause the same problem ( see girdling roots). When trees and shrubs are dug for ball and burlapping, straps and twine are used to secure the burlap to the root ball. Also, when guy wire or straps are left on the tree after the first year of installation the same girdling will be seen. The straps and twine must be removed or over time they will choke the plant, resulting in decline and death of the part of the plant above the constriction.
When new balled and burlapped plants are installed (or after the tree is stable, in the case of guy wires or straps) it is imperative that the twine and straps be removed. If you find girdling twine or straps after planting and the girdling material is not embedded too deeply then cut it off the plant. If the material is embedded into the trunk you may be able to cut the material and pull it free. If the material cannot be pulled free then at least cut it in several places to allow the plant to re-initiate growth. If the material was completely embedded then there is a good chance the plant will continue to decline and die. In many cases once the plant begins to show severe decline symptoms (brown leaves, sloughing bark) it is beyond recovery even if the girdling material isremoved.« Back to Glossary Index