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How Much Root Damage Can a Tree Take on Your Marietta Property?

If you're sprucing up your landscape in Marietta, you might ask, "How much root damage can a tree take?" Top Tier Trees offers comprehensive tree removal services in Marietta, GA. Here, they share what you should know about tree root damage to ensure the trees in your landscape maintain their health and beauty. 

How Can You Remove Roots Without Damaging the Tree?

When asking, "How much root damage can a tree take?" it's important to know that cutting tree roots is possible without sacrificing the plant's health. Pruning roots is usually necessary if they're encroaching under driveways, sidewalks, or construction zones. Tree roots can also invade underground pipes and cause blockages.

Unfortunately, improper root pruning can affect the tree, leading to the death and decay of certain branches or areas within the tree's crown. For example, construction damage, soil compaction, and drought can lead to branch dieback on the same side of the affected roots, early fall coloring, or scorching in leaves due to stress. Sparse or wilting leaves and dying twigs are also typical after root damage.

Here are the best tactics for cutting tree roots with minimal damage to the tree. 

Don't Damage More Than 1/4 of the Root Zone

Though cutting feeder and structural roots is possible, you never want to remove or damage too much of the overall root system. In many cases, healthy trees in Marietta can survive construction, plumbing, or land regrading projects as long as the plants retain most of their root system. 

The general rule about cutting tree roots is not to remove or disturb more than 1/4 of the root zone. The root zone is the area within the soil containing tree roots that absorb water. 

To keep trees healthy, it's best to cut less than a third of their anchoring roots. Anchoring roots are the parts of the system that break off into smaller roots. They give a tree stability and prevent it from toppling. 

Before working on your Marietta property, check the base of a tree's trunk to find the root flares, which will give you an idea of the location of the plant's structural roots. The tree bulges you see on top of the soil at the base of the trunk are the root flares. If you must remove structural roots, don't exceed 1/3 of all the root flares.

Only Cut Roots Far Away From the Tree Trunk

When it's time to cut tree roots, don't make the cuts near the tree. If possible, you might need to excavate your land to access the roots furthest from the plant. Removing roots too close to the tree's trunk is a quick way to destroy the tree's health because it will damage too much of the root system.

If you need help determining how far you should be to safely cut tree roots, measure the trunk's diameter and the distance between the trunk and the root cut. The safest distance to cut tree roots should be at least three times the trunk's diameter away from the tree's base. 

Consider the Tree's Overall Health

Sometimes, a tree's health is already deteriorating by the time you have to cut its roots. In those cases, it may be best to schedule a tree removal appointment and get rid of the entire plant and root system. It wouldn't be worth cutting the roots of a dying tree if you'll eventually need to remove it anyway. 

When examining your property's trees, look for signs of decaying wood. An unhealthy or decaying tree may also lean, or its roots may appear to rise above the soil. If you notice any of these problems, tree removal might be better than only cutting the roots.

How To Help Trees in Marietta Recover From Root Damage

A tree's recovery rate after sustaining root damage depends on the location of the cut. A surface-level injury can take a tree years to recover. Feeder roots with root damage in the topsoil will concentrate on growing stronger roots instead of growing branches and leaves.

Make the Most of Your Marietta Landscape With Quality Tree Services

Now that you know the answer to, "How much root damage can a tree take?" trust the professionals at Top Tier Trees to keep your plants healthy and looking their best. As one of the best tree services in Marietta, GA, their licensed, insured, and certified arborists can help with identifying a dead tree, removing unwanted trees, and grinding stumps. Their team also offers tree pruning and trimming services. 

Request your free quote for tree services from Top Tier Trees today. 

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    • My favorite tree service crew! I rank Top Tier high for their safety and professionalism. Did removal & stump grinding last year, and called them again for tree service this year. David shared vital info about my trees. Chaz and Erin have been great to work with. The tree svc crews work very well together on site; a pleasure to watch. I'd call them again

      -Frank Maina, GA
    • Wow, great customer service, promptly returned my calls and had Erin, a sales and customer service representative out within 2 hours. I was very happy with the quote so we wanted to get started right away. Their was an opening in their schedule and had a crew at my house all before noon on Friday. Very fast and efficient, i could not be more pleased.

      - Robin Chitwood, GA
    • Outstanding & professional work! We had 7 trees removed & the crew did an excellent job from start to finish. They even trimmed a few branches that needed trimming. Clean-up was great. The crew introduced themselves & engaged with us throughout the job.

      -Jean B.Marietta, GA
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