Check out this neat self-girdling feature that I uncovered in two of three old Eugenia plants that I took out today.
Above is a photo of one of the former Eugenia hedge/shrub/small tree/bad topiary (installed by a previous owner) that I had flush cut with the ground in an uncontrolled spasm of bad tree and shrub removal back in November. It was then covered with 12" of mulch. Unfortunately, they were crown sprouting and the stumps would have been located nearly right where I want to put my three brand new Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud trees). So out they came.
This is what plants look like that have spent too much time in a container prior to planting. The roots circle the inside of the container and unless teased out straight prior to planting, they won't automatically straighten after planting. Avoid plants who's roots obviously circle their container: They will continue to grow in circles which contributes to poor plant health and even death, if the roots effectively girdle one another.