Should You Cut Tree Roots That Grow Above the Ground?


The main reason why roots stretch so far and wide is to give the tree a stable foundation. But sometimes the roots can grow further and into the front yard. You may even notice the area around the tree no longer has grass because of the roots. Cutting the roots can be tricky especially since they play a very important role in controlling the flow of water. Remember these above the ground roots provide additional support so cutting them can make the tree fall when there’s a heavy storm.

Examine the size and location


Roots That Grow Above the Ground

When the roots are more than 2 inches wide, don’t cut them off. The larger tree roots are the ones responsible for stability so cutting them can cause issues in future. The tree also relies on those large roots for nutrients and water. You should also avoid pruning trees that are too close to the trunk. These roots are very important in maintaining the right tree structure.

When should you cut the above ground tree roots?


A certified Toronto arborist may recommend cutting or removing tree roots during winter or early spring. In winter, the tree is somewhat dormant and doesn’t rely so much on the roots for water. But just make sure you don’t remove more than 20% of the roots all at the same time. If you need to cut more trees, wait for the tree to fully recover after making the first chop.

Cutting tree roots is a risky process since there’s never a guarantee that you won’t cause damage to the tree. We only recommend removing the roots of the tree if they have become a hazard not because of aesthetic purposes. However, a certified arborist may be able to advise on whether pruning the roots is the right step to take.

Al Miley & Associates – expert Tree and Shrub Pruning / Trimming Toronto.

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