Girdling roots on a dawn redwood

katob Z6ish, NE PaFebruary 23, 2013

I love my "Goldrush" dawn redwood, maybe a little more than I should, it's just an awesome tree. So I look at it a lot.

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

This summer I noticed the root flare wasn't really coming along evenly so I poked around a little and found this root choking the one side.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:32PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Here's another view. I cut the root out and don't think it will be a problem, I just thought it was a nice example of what a girdling root looks like. Hopefully there aren't any more deeper down, I'm a little worried about it having some kind of club-root down below, but I think there are enough good roots on top to take over. Probably a pot bound liner at some point.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to my eye.. it looks EXACTLY the circumference of a one gallon pot ... of course i have no scale.. care to speculate ...

now.. HOW did you accomplish the cut.. w/o scarring the trunk ???

ken

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:47AM
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canadianplant

Do you notice any slow growth, discoloured needles, lack of over all vigour?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:49AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Growth on the tree still looks fine, what I noticed was that only one side of the trunk was developing a root flare, the other side went straight down.

The scale might be a little deceiving, I have to head out there through the mud and slush and take another look. Maybe it is a one gallon pot size..... But if I admit to that then I also admit the root was my fault - since I should have seen it when I planted it!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 12:54PM
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wisconsitom

Excellent job, Kato, and excellent postage of such as well!

I was once lead to believe that in many cases, cutting girdling roots will not work because new roots will form right where the cutting was done and will occupy essentially the same location sooner than later. But....I'm not sure I believe that, for the simple reason that while the regrowth may be fast, the trunk will also have the same amount of time to add girth, and that at some point, the root will not have the ability to cause much constriction.

In any case, I like what you did there and I think it well worth it.

+oM

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:05PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Thanks for the comments! Here's what it looks like today. Ground is still frozen so I couldn't investigate any deeper, I think I cut out the root some time in October or so but the imprint from the root is still just as obvious...
Looking at it today I would guess the root formed in maybe a 5 inch pot? btw I cut it out with pruners, the root was only about a half inch diameter so it still cut pretty easy.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:12PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Maybe it is a one gallon pot size..... But if I admit to that then I also admit the root was my fault - since I should have seen it when I planted it!

==>>> PSSST .... we have all been here... we just dont admit it in public.. rotflmbo ....

ken

ps: it doesnt matter if it roots from the cut +om.. the roots will go the proper direction .. down ..... new roots wouldnt start the strangling again ...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 7:50AM
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wisconsitom

Uh, not so, Ken. In exhumed samples I've had the opportunity to look at, new rootlets formed at more or less right angles to the cut surface but soon reoriented themselves in virtually the same space of the removed section. Probably, a wide range of new orientations occur. There's nothing magic about the original root location, but still, they do often enough end up going right back there.

What I'm saying is that especially with fast-growing species, like Metasequoia, stem girth will increase fast enough to alleviate any tendency towards new root girdling. Or maybe not!

+oM

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 5:50PM
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