Fir tree root protrusion - Knowledgebase Question

Question by carl611
January 15, 2010
Fir tree: 80-100 ft tall, 4 feet diam. at base,30 feet from house. Problem: large 30ft. root protruding from ground in the direction of concrete house foundation. 10 feet of root, 1 foot diam. is protuding 12 inches above ground. The remaining 20 feet is forming a bump on ground. Is it safe to remove the root to prevent damage to concrete footing?

Answer from NGA
January 15, 2010


I've seen roots removed from large firs without compromising the health of the tree but each case is different. If you decide to sever the root, dig down around the root to completely expose it then make a clean cut with a chainsaw or hand saw. If you leave the cut portion exposed to the elements for a few months the wound will seal itself off. If you immediately bury the cut portion it will most likely develop suckers and lots of new roots. Your fir has probably reached maturity and I'm sure there's a huge root system so it might be worth the effort to dig a trench between the foundation and the tree so you can see what might be lurking beneath the soil. I'd sever any roots encroaching on the foundation, making the cuts several feet back from the house so you won't have problems in the near future. Good luck with your landscape and with your fir tree.

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