Roots can grow around the main trunk or root structure of the tree sometimes, resulting in an inability of the plant to take up water and nutrients. Throughout time, leaves will begin to discolor, the plant will have slow in growth, the tree will produce less leaves and more seedlings, and branch will start to die back. Some of the more susceptible trees to girdling of roots are: Lindens, magnolias, pines, and some maples (not silver maples).
Girdling may be caused by root constrictions (such as potted plants). Ensure that when transplanting trees the roots are properly pruned and the site offers adequate room for the roots the spread. If girdling is occurring, the tree will not show signs of improvement even when pruned, watered or fertilized.