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A big girdling root on persimmon tree

Hello dear friends,

we have this 40+ years old persimmon tree which I recently cleared it’s flare of 1.5 feet soil and found this big girdling root! Was totally oblivious! 

I’m scared of cutting it completely because it was also pruned 20% of canopy 17 months ago, they say persimmons only live for 70 years and maybe it would be too much damage? 

Someone suggested to cut a v shaped notch above the girdling root and leave the underside to function. And maybe cut it completely after 3 years or maybe not. 

Any ideas are appreciated.
thank you so much!



  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,995
    Haven't you already asked this question about another tree?

    The answer is the same, don't do anything, you will only cause damage.
    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,335
    What’s a girdling root? 
  • Why would you remove a foot and a half depth of soil from around the tree?
    Sunny Dundee
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,474
    The trees been growing there perfectly happily for 40+ years. Cover those roots up quickly before the fine fibrous ones that do the work dry out … that’s what will cause real damage. 

    As far as I’m aware the only time ‘girdling roots’ might cause a problem is with a recently planted tree which was previously potbound and the roots had been growing round and round the football rather than spreading out. It the tree has been properly planted it’ll be fine … if it hadn’t it’s a bit late to worry about it when it’s been there 40 years. 

    There seems to be a lot of anxiety about such things on U-tube … but there’s a lot of stuff on U-tube … most of which can be safely ignored. 😊 

    Cover those roots up with good moist soil and mulch the root area with something organic and then leave well alone. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,195
    Indeed @punkdoc
    Like @Balgay.Hill, I'm wondering what the reason is for suddenly digging out a load of soil from round the base of the tree. That could have done more harm than anything else.
    Cover it back up and let it recover   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • MolamolaMolamola BelgiumPosts: 99
    Girdling roots can harm tree health in the long run by choking off the supply of nutrients.  They are usually caused when the tree is planted or mulched too deep.

    The best way to avoid them is planting at the right depth/checking the roots at planting, but I am not sure whether and how best to tackle them in mature trees.  
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,272
    Thank you @Molamola, I'd never heard of this phenomenon before.  I can understand why you would take care to avoid this through correct planting, but, as others have said above, why subject an established tree to such an excavation?  Could there be a new technique or device about to be sold to us perhaps?!
  • Hello everyone and thank you for you thoughts.

    I did the sudden excavation because the the bed around it was raised 20 years ago when it was already established. I learned about the harms of soil against the trunk and went to remove the excess soil to find this root already  girdling one side of the trunk and sinking in it.

    the thing is that this tree doesn’t fruit much anymore and I wonder if it’s because of this root. And it’s always three weeks late to leaf out in spring compared to our neighbors persimmon. 

    I read somewhere to not cut the root suddenly at that would shock the tree. Instead you must weaken the root by cutting a portion of it and leaving the rest to function. This would slow the damaging process. 

    Was wonderin for some thoughts on this issue.

    thank you
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,995
    Just leave it alone.
    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • Put the soil back and give it a mulch with well rotted manure in the spring.
    Sunny Dundee
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