Girdling in Lille, Northern France

Girdling, also called ring-barking, is the circumferential removal or injury of the bark (consisting of cork cambium or "phellogen", phloem, cambium and sometimes also the xylem) of a branch or trunk of a woody plant. Girdling results in the death of the area above the girdle over time. A branch completely girdled will fail and when the main trunk of a tree is girdled, the entire tree will die, if it cannot regrow from above to bridge the wound. Human practices of girdling include forestry, horticulture, and vandalism. Foresters use the practice of girdling to thin forests. Extensive cankers caused by certain fungi, bacteria or viruses can girdle a trunk or limb. Animals such as rodents will girdle trees by feeding on outer bark, often during winter under snow. Girdling can also be caused by herbivorous mammals feeding on plant bark and by birds and insects, both of which can effectively girdle a tree by boring rows of adjacent holes.

Orchardists use girdling as a cultural technique to yield larger fruit or to set fruit.[1] In viniculture (grape cultivation) the technique is also called cincturing.

  1. ^ Powell, Arlie A. (May 1996). "Girdling Peach Trees in the Southeast". The Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Auburn University. Retrieved 2014-08-06.

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