Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Root and Soil Concerns

Q: Should dead branches be removed from a tree that suffers from root girdling?

Friday, July 29, 2016  

Q: We have a large Norway maple tree in our yard that has root girdling. It was diagnosed about 10 years ago and underwent root injections over the following years to help revive it. We stopped doing that after a few years, and since then, half of the tree looks great and the other half only gets leaves on the ends of the branches. It appears like the one half is growing okay, and the other half has kind of reached a stand-still. Would there be any benefit to cutting off all the "dead" branches in hopes that the good half fills in the rest of the tree? Otherwise, every year the tree looks kind of funny with one half that is full and the other half that is pretty barren. Thank you.

A: It's always beneficial to remove dead branches; however, you should consider having the tree examined by an ASCA Consulting Arborist. A root crown excavation should be conducted to see if it is feasible to sever the girdling roots and solve the problem for good.

Responder: Dennis Panu, RCA #396, Thompson, CT