Answer: If the ingrown support encircles the tree trunk then it will literally strangle it to death within a short time -- several years. If the support is at the base of a branch but has been removed from around the main trunk, it will probably cause that branch to die eventually. Trees are able to compartmentalize damage to a certain extent, but if the support is constricting too much of the tree's interior circulation it will weaken the tree over time. It might also cause interior weakness to the wood that could cause the tree to break at that spot some years later or in the future you might see a "dent" develop on the trunk at that spot followed by the demise of the tree for no apparent reason. You might want to consult with your county extension or a professionally trained and certified arborist as to what the prognosis is for your trees. You've probably already figured out it's a good idea to check such supports regularly so as to allow for growth of the tree; in many cases too it is no longer recommended to anchor newly planted trees at all unless they are in a truly windy location or there is some other particular reason to justify it.
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