Tree Problems

Cutting Tree Roots

NANCY.BONO added on November 5, 2015 | Answered

I am digging out a patio, which will be installed early next spring. I have encountered roots from my Imperial maple tree situated 18' from the patio edge. I need to eliminate the roots, which range in circumference from tiny to 3 inches! When is the best time to cut them...late fall or early spring? Should I water them after cutting? The roots are now exposed to the elements. But the tree is my yard's crowning glory and I don't want to hurt it. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR GARDENING EXPERTISE.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 7, 2015

Cutting or pruning the roots away is not really a good solution or can I recommend it for several reasons.

Cutting roots that are 3 inches or more in diameter are susceptible to insects and disease and often rot back to the trunk.

This can kill the tree over time.

These roots are part of the trees integrity and can lead to tree damage from wind or storm damage.

Roots that are 2 inches or less will likely grow back and continue to cause damage and lift concrete or pavers.

You can certainly have the tree and it's root system inspected by a certified Arborist that is familiar with construction techniques and the integrity of tree canopy root systems.

You can also explore alternative construction surfaces that will not involve any harm to the tree roots.

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