Will removing tree roots hurt the tree?

When you think of tree removal, what comes to mind? The giant falling, the branches being chopped off or the stumps being uprooted? Well all that is true, but you can, instead of completely removing the tree, you can cut some of the roots and shape them better

Roots removal can hurt the tree if done wrong. If you cut some of the crucial roots, especially those close to the trunk will definitely hurt the entire tree. But, you can still remove the tree roots and leave the tree healthy and strong. 

Will removing tree roots hurt the tree?

Why remove tree roots?

 There are times when you feel like you need to tame your tree but not entirely do away with it. Roots, in their search for water, may venture into unwanted areas. This way, you will find that the roots are inconveniencing you but still want to keep the tree.

By inconveniencing roots we mean;

Tree roots damaging your driveways and sidewalks

 Have you noticed roots bulging on your sidewalks and driveways? Roots are powerful and can easily damage concrete on your driveways which is dangerous for both you, your family, and your property.

Roots exposed on the ground

 Tree roots networks can be very intense and sometimes they can get exposed. Soil erosion tends to take away the top layer of soil, leaving the roots exposed. Once they do, that whole section is unusable hence the need to cut them.

Closer to the foundation

 When trees are planted closer to a building, the roots network can mess with the foundation of the building. When this happens, you can be prepared to lose the building or the tree. But is it the only solution? Of course not, according to Go Tree Quotes, removing problem roots and installing a root guard is one of the best strategies around.

Understanding tree roots system

 Trees have different root systems, each with its own purpose. Understanding this system is critical in your quest to cut the roots. Some of the most common roots systems include;

  • Structural roots

 Used mainly to anchor the tree, these roots will travel far and wide, and in all directions to ensure that the tree is stable. You can cut this, but need to do it professionally as simple mistakes can either destabilize the tree or cause injuries that can lead to infections.

  • Feeder roots

 As the name suggests, these are the roots that provide valuable nutrients to the tree. Their main task is to transport moisture and nutrients from the soil. Cutting these roots will weaken the tree by denying it precious nutrients.

Removing the tree roots, safely

 Now that you know a thing or two about tree removal, it’s time to get deeper with tree roots removal. There are two ways to remove tree roots. You can either;

  • Permanently remove the tree
  • Removing the wandering roots

Permanently removing the tree

 Tree removal is a permanent solution to your damaging roots problem. It involves cutting down the tree and removing the stump that remains. It is a costly affair but will offer a lasting solution to your roots problem. You need to hire a reputable tree removing company that will deal with the stump while being considerate of the surrounding.

Removing parts of the roots

 If you don’t want to do away with the entire tree, you can cut off the protruding roots which are causing damages. That sounds easy to do but the truth is, tree roots removal is a delicate act. You need to be careful not to destabilize the tree by removing anchor roots. Again, be careful to cut any feeder roots as this will effectively kill the roots.

To do it right, you need to have the following tools;

  • Shovel
  • Sharp chain saw
  • Spray paint
  • Spade
  • Mulch
  • Cloth
  • Alcohol

Important to note: The above tools are for the confident and handy persons who know their way around plants. This is because a minor blunder will cause substantive damages to both the tree and the surrounding area or yourself.

Factors to consider when cutting tree roots

 Cutting roots or root pruning is a serious and delicate exercise that needs skills and stable hands. Consider the following before starting any cutting;

  • The season

It is better to cut the roots in winter where tree metabolism is low. This way, you will avoid cases of dehydration. The start of spring is another great time to start roots pruning as risks of damages are low.

  • State of the tree

Only cut roots that are upstanding and avoid those that lean. Leaning trees will easily lose balance which can cause the tree to fall.

  • Age of the tree

Younger trees are most likely to rebound than old trees. You can cut roots closer to the trunk and the tree will still survive. Again, with young trees, the roots network is not as complex are old trees.

  • Keep off large roots

The larger the root, the more important it is to the tree. Avoid cutting those large roots and your tree will have better chances of survival. In most cases, the larger roots have direct access to the trunk, and infection there will be catastrophic.

  • The position of the cut

When making the cut, it’s advisable that you make the cut just after the side roots. This gives the roots another chance of helping with the secondary roots especially those going downwards providing support and nutrients.

  • Cover the remaining part

Once cut, it’s wise to quickly replace the soil and cover the roots immediately. It’s better to water that part immediately after covering it up and removing the cut root.

  • Professionals over own self

When you don’t know much about trees and roots, it’s better to call in the experts. There is a lot at stake and experts are better placed to handle it. The cost of tree root pruning may look expensive, but it tops the fear of doing it wrong and causing irrevocable action.

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