How to kill tree roots – Three ways to avoid root damage

Many Brits don’t think about the web of roots caused by trees in their garden until it’s too late. Roots can ruin driveways and cause costly damage. Sometimes roots will have to be removed to avoid expensive repairs.

Ridding yourself of roots can be challenging, doing so will undoubtedly damage the tree supported by them.

No matter how much you love the trees in your garden sometimes they will have to be sacrificed or their health damaged by root removal if they are getting in the way.

How to kill small invasive roots without causing severe damage to the tree

You can simply cut away small problem roots when they emerge, such as when they start to poke through your lawn.

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This will be labour-intensive but it will cause the least damage to the tree and won’t risk nearby plants.

To do this dig out the soil around and under the root then remove them with a root saw.

Avoid cutting back root too close to the tree as this will put it in long decline eventually killing it.

To prevent this multiply the diameter of the tree by eight.

That should be the minimum distance away from the trunk you can cut roots to avoid serious harm to the trees.

Where possible only cut roots on one side of the tree.

How to block roots

If you can see roots approaching a feature in your garden, such as a patio or driveway, you may be able to stop roots from damaging this area.

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By simply digging a trench you can block roots from travelling too far across your garden.

You may have to cut back the roots that breach this trench once or twice a year.

You could build a more robust trench to save yourself from this annual cutback.

Dig one deep trench through the entire topsoil then install a robust barrier by inserting an impenetrable surface, such as a metal roofing sheet, in the trench before backfilling it.

Create a barrier under damaged surfaces to stop roots from re-emerging

Brits often overlook the risks of root damage until it’s too late and the damage has already been caused.

If you have damaged driveways, patios or paving as a result of invasive roots you may be able to prevent further damage.

If you replace damaged pavement with crushed stone or mulch you may be able to avoid future damage.

This will act as a barrier the tree can’t break through without killing large surface roots or damaging the tree.

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