Removing Tree Roots Above the Ground

A tree’s roots need to establish itself and stretch deep and wide so it can provide the structural support the tree needs. However, there are instances when they grow beyond what is desirable. There are things to consider when cutting roots because it is an integral part of the tree. You cannot simply remove it and expect nothing happens, which is why you should learn the proper way to do it to keep your tree’s health intact. 

Keep reading if you want to learn more about cutting roots above the ground.

Will the tree die if I cut a root?

The answer depends on the tree’s location and size. Avoid cutting large roots, specifically those more than 2 inches. Getting rid of large roots can hinder the tree from getting enough water and nutrients from the ground and affect its stability.

What is the best season to remove roots?

If you have decided to prune roots, do it during winter and early spring.

How many roots can I remove?

Avoid cutting beyond 20% of the roots above the ground at one time. Have a two to three-year interval to allow the roots to heal. Only this time you can cut more roots above the ground.

How can I safely prune the root without hurting the tree?

There is never a guarantee cutting the roots will not have an adverse effect on the tree and result in its decline or death. This is the reason why reducing the roots is only recommended if the roots are causing impediment or danger to you and your property and other nearby structure. 

Get in touch with your local arborist before you decide to cut the roots in your tree. 

Step-by-Step Guide in Cutting Roots 

  1. Locate the root that is causing an issue and track where it is part of. If it is a part of a large root, consult a certified arborist before you cut it. If it turns out to be a small root, do the second step.
  2. Get the measurements of your tree. Use a measuring tape to get the diameter of the tree, particularly four feet from the base. Divide the tree’s measurement by 3.14. It is fine to cut roots between 3 to 5 times the diameter from your tree.
  3. Make sure to mark the part you will cut. Dig a hole around where the root is located until it is fully uncovered.
  4. You can utilize a root saw to cut the part of the tree. Safely remove the root from the tree until it is wholly out. The area will be void once the process is done, so make sure to backfill with soil and dirt that come from the same location once you’re done. 
  5. Pay attention to the tree’s health condition weeks after removing its roots. You should look for signs of decline, such as the leaves turning yellow or the branches dying. Any of these signs call for the attention of a professional arborist. Contact your trusted certified arborist and get an expert opinion on what to do next.

See this for more information about tree roots and tree care.