What Does Girdling Mean?
Girdling is the removal of a strip of bark around the entire circumference of a tree or
A tree's nutrients travel through
the bark to nourish the entire tree. Girdling cuts off interaction between the
roots and the leaves, depriving parts of the tree of nutrients so that the tree or branch above
the girdle will die.
Girdling may also be known as ring barking or cincturing.
Maximum Yield Explains Girdling
Girdling can occur naturally, or a tree or branch can
be artificially girdled.
Foresters often girdle trees as a form of forest management.
In a horticultural setting girdling is known as
cincturing. Selective cincturing of branches is performed to
increase yields on the remaining branches. Cincturing fruit trees and grape
vines forces sugar from the leaves to the fruit, thus increasing their size. This is most often used in vineyards to increase the
size of the grapes on the remaining portion of the vine.
Herbaceous animals, birds, and insects can also
inadvertently girdle a tree by gnawing or boring holes around the circumference
of a tree. In North
America voles and beavers are a major source of natural girdling by chewing
the roots and lower trunk.
Some invasive vines are also known to girdle trees
as they wind themselves tightly around the trunk, damaging the sensitive bark.