Updated: Aug 23, 2019
You've probably seen it more than you realize. Girdling is the removal of the outer and inner bark all of the way around a tree's trunk. It can also be caused by something up against the tree that it is forced to grow around.
Any part of a tree beyond the point of girdling has no chance of survival. This is because the inner bark is the pipeline through which nutrients are circulated.
Trees can be girdled in many different ways. It can be caused by support cables, structures such as fences and decks, wildlife and even the tree's own branches and roots.
This problem is best dealt with as soon as possible. If a tree is staked or supported by any type of ropes or cables it is important to move them at least once a year. Also any type of structure should be kept clear of a tree's trunk as not to obstruct its growth.