Large roots in lawn - Knowledgebase Question

portland, Or
Question by bjlottis
June 30, 2010
I have a very large Sweet Gum tree in my backyard that has several roots running out right at the surface. This is making the lawn very bumpy and tricky to mow. I've heard it's possible to cut out and dig up these roots. Is there a recommended procedure for doing this? Is there a risk of weakening the tree? There's also a maple tree with similr problems, though the roots aren't as big.


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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Yes, you can dig and sever the roots then remove them from your lawn. There's always a risk when you do this. We can only assume that the tree has an equal amount of roots on all sides. If so, the removal of a few roots on one side should not compromise its health or make it more prone to toppling over in a wind storm. The choice is yours!

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