For an effective Cartier divisor D on a scheme X we may form an nth root stack. Its derived category is known to have a semiorthogonal decomposition with components given by D and X. We show that this decomposition is 2n-periodic. For n=2 this gives a purely triangulated proof of the existence of a known spherical functor, namely the pushforward along the embedding of D. For n>2 we find a higher spherical functor in the sense of recent work of Dyckerhoff, Kapranov and Schechtman. We use a realization of the root stack construction as a variation of GIT, which may be of independent interest.