Root Bound Tree
A root bound tree is usually generated in a container environment. Most trees available in nurseries or markets are planted in pots or containers. These containers provide protection for the plants and make tree portable as well. However, tree roots can also be damaged by these containers too. One example of the damage is the root surrounding on the root ball. This often happens when they are planted in a circular pot. You should remove the excessive bound roots before planting these trees in the soil.
Before planting a container tree into the soil, you should have a thorough check on its root ball to make sure that there are no bound roots around its root ball. You need to choose a place where there is adequate space for the new tree to grow. Otherwise, root bound will occur again when there is no adequate space. One symptom of the root bound tree is that the growth of the tree is severely affected. This is mainly because that the new root system is not well established and its ability to absorb nutrients and water is also weakened.
To make the root bound tree to grow healthy, its bound roots must be trimmed. Be careful with the pruning work to avoid damaging important parts of the tree roots. It is not easy to differentiate if a plant is in a root bound state by simply observing the roots. You should refer to the symptoms of the trees before making a judge. The damage of root bound roots is a long process, and the symptom will appear for a long time.
Image provided By Keith Williamson [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons