Girdling B&B Tree
I am need of a sanity check.
I planted a 1.75 inch Jefferson Elm tree in April of this year and at planting removed approximately 3.5 inches of soil from the root ball after finding what I thought was the start of the root flare.
It had a strange almost circular shape to it, but I had I figured that it was probably where they had grafted the tree and was just happy to have not planted it based on the height of the rootball. It looked strange but innocent enough to me. Just today, I decided to remove some more soil to have a better look at what was going on and see if there was a more pronounced trunk flare below this.
What I found was surprising (at least for me). It looks to me to be clearly circling roots as if it had been previously container grown, and what I thought was the graft appears to be a large root that is immediately circling the tree trunk. Chances are this tree will die from DED or a new Elm epidemic before it reaches end of life, but I was not looking for a tree that would grow well for 10-20 years and then die from these structural issues. I can handle it dying from a disease or other tree ailment as that is a well know risk of planting an elm tree but it is upsetting to plant a long lived tree that is already doomed due to improper nursery practices. I would rather just remove it now and plant something that has a chance to live for many years. My questions are....
1) Are these girdling roots and were they likely cause from this tree being initially grown in a container
2) would a reputable nursery stand behind replacing this tree due to these clear issues and
3) if they will not replace this tree (chances are the replacement would have the same issues), should I attempt to correct the root issues myself and see if the tree will survive, or is this too far gone and should I just move on and plant something new
I had to special order this tree as it is not widely available and I wasn't able to inspect it prior to purchase and delivery.
Thanks for any feedback/opinions!