The Q&A Archives: Pruning "ground" roots from Floweing Pear

Question: I have a few flowering pear trees in my yard that are all at leat 7 years old and up to 20' high. The roots that are on the lawn's surface are creeping towards my patio and killing the lawn as well. Can I safely prune thee roots and if so, how do I do this? How much can I prune (how close to the tree's trunk can I get)?

Answer: Unfortunately, pruning surface roots can kill the tree. The tree needs all of its roots and will regrow them -- beginning as soon as they are cut. You might be able to cut one or two, if they constitute less than 20% of the trees root system. However, this is risky and not recommended. You could consider using a groundcover rather than turfgrass beneath them to make the roots less noticeable.

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