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Hello,
I am attaching a couple of pictures of the roots of a stewartia tree I planted back in 2004.

I am confused if the roots shown for this tree will cause a problem later down the road. From the pictures it looks like the tree has some adventitious roots.

Do all adventitious roots pose a threat to the tree? I read somewhere an article which said all the adventitious roots need to be pruned before planting.

What happens if I leave the root as such as long there is no risk of girdling?

This tree initially had dieback on the top the first year. Ever since it seems to be doing well. A picture showing the dieback is in this other discussion.Top DieBack

I did a mistake by planting this tree too deep and after I realized this I tried to dig up as much as I can around the trunk to expose the flare. Have I dug far enough to expose the flare?

Should I trim off the adventitous roots or leave everything as such?

Thanks



 
Posts: 10 | Registered: Monday June 05, 2006Report This Post
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Most planting stock has adventitious roots, it is the idea of planting stock to have a compact fibrous root system, either from restriction (pot/bag) or field grown by root wrenching. The roots in the picture don't look too bad, the chunk of bark missing off the stem looks a bit off. Girdling roots are worst when they run around the periphery of the rootball (can be seen when planting) because it is when woody roots set their pattern of growth at an early age due to a restriction that they continue to spiral. In bad caes it may well be beneficial to prune girdling roots but you have to accept that your planting stock is poor/over its best if the girdlig is bad. Pruning the roots at planting will stress the tree and can result in dieback of the top of the tree as planting is stressful in itself. From memory Stewartia spp. are not particularly robust trees, they benefit from group planting and in hot climates some light shading when young, a fertile soil high in organic matter which is slightly acidic, fussy buggers. Flare looks plenty. Roots are random and can be quite messy in their configuration, try not to read too much into it unless they are really spiralled like a woven basket, there is rather a lot we don't know about the tree below ground. I myself have been quite ruthless in the past with spreading roots out when planting and hacking at what I considered poor form, quite evidently to the detriment of the tree but I understand your concern about girdling roots as I look at trees that are 50+ years old and wonder if they have finally strangled themselves to death or tried to exploit nutrients in a corkscrew fashion instead of radially, perhaps if someone had abused their roots at planting it would have been a do or die situation (I hope that is not too controversial). Too many opinions in this profession! Apply a semi-rotted organic mulch (I guess conifer mulch would add acidity) and plant another couple of trees in case that one does not do well, think forester mentality - not all trees get to the sawmill, plant small for good value returns and quick establishment. Afterthought - thinking back to nursery practices I have done, if you get a really bad spiralled root system you could root prune for good form, pot back into a balanced potting compost and irrigate, then plant out a couple of years later.
 
Posts: 56 | Location: Auckland, NZ | Registered: Monday March 28, 2005Report This Post
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This first picture shows adventitious roots above where the finger is pointing. They grew because the tree had been planted too deep. They form from tissues (most often from stems or trunks) and not from another parent root. These roots do not anchor a tree properly.
http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/photos/symp120_full.jpg

Here you can see adventitious roots above the dotted line.
http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/photos/symp130_full.jpg

Those pictures are from the bottom of this page.
http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/rec_symptoms.html

You can read about types of roots here.
http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/genera...esofroots/index.html

Here's what a girdling root looks like.
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/rootcirclingpine.html

Removing them.
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/removecircling.html

Where it can lead to if you don't remove the circling and/or girdling roots.
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/rootgrowthdefectstwodet.html

Newt


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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
 
Posts: 42 | Location: Maryland zone 7 | Registered: Friday May 06, 2005Report This Post
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Good to see someone's got their head screwed on Newt. I did ramble a bit aimlessly and went on about girdling roots and pot bound/spiralling roots at the same time, ranga was't even talking about the latter, idle fingers e'h.
 
Posts: 56 | Location: Auckland, NZ | Registered: Monday March 28, 2005Report This Post
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Kit, no problem. I've been know to be 'wordy' myself. Eek

Newt


--------------------
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
 
Posts: 42 | Location: Maryland zone 7 | Registered: Friday May 06, 2005Report This Post
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Hello Kit & Newt,

Thank you very much for your insight and excellent pictorial links explaining girdling.

I will leave the roots alone as none of them pose any significant threat of growing around the trunk.

Also as mentioned this Stewartia is a very fussy tree and after 3 yrs it looks like it is establishing well and flowered pretty well, and there is no further die back. Don't want to mess anything by pruning any roots.

The shape of the tree is not the best I would like after the dieback, but I will be happy if it puts on some top growth.

I don't know if the tree will only grow laterally now since I pruned the dead branch above the dieback.
 
Posts: 10 | Registered: Monday June 05, 2006Report This Post
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Ranga, you are very welcome! Glad to hear the tree is doing better, but it will be one to watch. You might want to consider a consult with a certified arborist as it appears you haven't exposed the rootflare. It wouldn't surprise me if they recommend some pruning of those roots.

Newt


--------------------
When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
 
Posts: 42 | Location: Maryland zone 7 | Registered: Friday May 06, 2005Report This Post
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