What is “Girdling”?

Check out this GoPro footage of our summer interns “girdling” a locust tree in Appanoose Co.

“Girdling” is a practice used to kill invasive large trees encroaching on a habitat. It involves chainsawing one ring or more near the base of a tree. At INHF, we cut two rings into the tree (making sure to reach the cambium layer of the tree) and then spraying the bottom ring with herbicide. The herbicide will reach the roots of the tree, while the top ring ensures that no nutrients reach the tree’s canopy. Instead of chopping the tree down completely, this removal method allows for dead tree habitat for woodpeckers and other wildlife, and results in less brush for hauling.

Girdling is not recommended near fuel breaks for prescribed fire or in areas where the tree is at risk of falling on a road or a fenceline.

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