Do You Need to Remove All Tree Roots? (Homeowners Guide)

May 7, 2022

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A homeowner might need tree root removal if those roots encroach on foundation concrete, plumbing pipes, and other fixtures. Also, untouched tree roots might rot or become home to pests who then make their way to nearby structures. However, does this mean that you need to remove all roots when cutting down a tree?

A tree services professional is the best choice for information about any tree or stump on your property. Additionally, a foundation repair contractor can note if roots encroach on a nearby slab or basement. In the meantime, note some added information about tree root removal for your property.

Is It OK to Leave Tree Roots in the Ground?

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t leave tree roots and stumps in the ground after tree removal:

  • Even after cutting, tree stumps and their roots can continue to grow. In turn, those roots might wrap themselves around underground pipes, wires, and foundation concrete, as said.
  • Additionally, roots can start to move upwards, lifting and cracking sidewalks, driveways, pavers, and more.
  • As stumps and roots start to decompose, carpenter ants, termites, beetles, and other insects might move in and nest! Consequently, those pests might make their way to nearby structures, risking costly damage.
  • Also, rotting tree stumps and roots often become home to fungi and invasive plants. These are often dangerous to animals who might ingest them including pets and wildlife. Additionally, they might also spread to other trees, risking damage.
  • Tree stumps are especially unsightly and dangerous for pedestrians and get in the way of proper lawn care. Overgrown roots pushing up through the soil, sidewalks, and driveways also risk tripping hazards.
  • Above all, consider removing tree stumps and roots for aesthetic reasons! Stumps, especially when they rot, and roots pushing up along the soil create a rundown, neglected look. On the other hand, stump grinding and root removal ensure a clean, pristine, welcoming property.

What Happens If You Don’t Remove Tree Roots?

Tree roots and stumps eventually rot, as said. It might take years, but this is part of the decomposition process. Once this process starts, roots and stumps become more susceptible to pest infestation. Next, those pests might make their way to nearby healthy trees and structures.

tree after tree root removal

Property owners should never ignore these risks! Termites and carpenter ants risk thousands of dollars in damages to wood framing and other materials. Also, rodents can infest a home and then chew on electrical wiring, risking damage and even fires. These pests are also bothersome to wildlife, pets, and children especially.

It’s also not unlikely for those roots to start to heave from underneath the soil. Consequently, you might soon notice sidewalk and driveway cracks or damage to patio pavers. This can also mean thousands of dollars in repair costs and a very unsightly, unsafe property!

How Long Do Roots Live After a Tree Is Cut Down?

Note that plants are very resilient and work hard to thrive. This includes tree roots, even after tree removal! In turn, you might see roots live some seven years or so after you cut down that tree.

Additionally, tree stumps often struggle to thrive after tree removal. You might even see little sprouts growing from the stump over time. These sprouts indicate that there is still some life left in the stump!

As roots continue to grow, they might reach nearby plumbing pipes, buried wires and cables, or foundation concrete. That growing process puts pressure on these fixtures and features. Consequently, cracks and other damage might form. Avoiding this risk is one vital reason to consider tree root removal from your property!

Do You Need to Remove All Roots From the Soil?

Some tree roots grow aggressively after tree cutting while others are considered nonaggressive. Aggressive tree roots feed sprouts long after tree cutting, while nonaggressive aren’t likely to regrow. However, note that soil often sinks over roots as they decompose. In turn, leaving even nonaggressive roots can mean sinkholes, depressions, and other unsightly damage.

Also, those roots can heave upwards, as said. Even smaller roots can then risk concrete damage or uneven soil and tripping hazards. They can also create a very unattractive surface along your property!

To ensure a safe, attractive property, it’s good to consider removing all roots even if they’re not aggressive. You can then address any remaining depressions or outright excavations. Many property owners even replace those cut trees and removed stumps with other vegetation. Consequently, your lot will look its best and stay solid and safe over the years.

stump grinding and tree root removal

Can I Remove Tree Roots Myself?

Tree root removal is a very big job, often more complicated than property owners realize. Healthy tree roots can spread some 20 feet deep, so you can’t simply pull them up with your hands! Also, pulling up thick roots can leave behind depressions and soft soil, as said.

Also, note that tree roots can wrap themselves around or at least grow close to underground utilities. Simply pulling up those roots can mean damaged pipes, wires, and other fixtures. Above all, trying to cut and dig tree roots yourself can risk injury, especially if you use heavy-duty equipment.

Additionally, some websites might suggest chemicals for tree root killing and removal. However, note that any chemicals used for roots also end up in the ground! Rock salt and herbicides are often dangerous to lawns and landscaping.

To avoid these risks, rely on a tree cutting professional instead. He or she ensures safe removal, marking underground fixtures first. Also, professionals know how to use stump grinders and other equipment, for fast yet safe root removal! They can also haul away all that rubbish and debris, for a clean and tidy property.

Ann Arbor Tree Trimming & Removal Service is happy to provide this information about tree root removal to our readers. We hope you found it helpful! If you need roots or stumps removed, call our Ann Arbor tree services contractors. We offer FREE inspections and quotes for all the tree cutting and stump grinding services you need to have done. For more information, give us a call today.


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