What Happens to Tree Roots When a Tree is Cut Down and What Can I Do About Them? 

A tree cannot live without a healthy root system. Cutting Down a tree is very important due to overgrowing the space, storm damage, disease, or age. After cutting down tree roots are remaining in the ground. Regrowth is happening in roots.

After the rest of the tress is cut down, the roots can survive depending on the species of the tree. Some roots continue to generate new life even after the tree removal. Examples are Siberian elm, palm tree, tree of heaven, Russian olive.

Soil and weather conditions are necessary for tree’s regrowth. Basically, the roots peckish to death once the tree is cut down because they accept all their food from the leaves. By using sprouting roots, some tree stumps are regrowing.

Aggressively growing roots will continue to sprout. You apply a hardy mulch cover on the top of the root area so that sprouts do not get a chance to get started. Three methods available to take out the sprouts 1. pulling them out by hand 2. moving over the area and 3. clipping the shoots. Tree regrowth is based on species of the tree. Roots are divided into two types, these are Non-Aggressive roots, aggressive roots.

Tree overgrowing is avoided by root killing and cutting. Tree overgrowing affect the home foundations. I will provide several methods to solve your root problems.

Identify the Root Problem

Identify the Root Problem

Due to moisture and nutrients roots will grow in some inconvenient places. Because of roots nature and as soil erosion, the roots along the ground. So, the roots are growing in underground. The tree is in under home’s foundation, they will thicken as they age and continue to grow. So here the tree is planted too close to the home. Overgrowing of roots affect the concrete driveway or sidewalk.

The Tree Root System

The Tree Root System

Analyze the necessary of the roots in relation to the tree’s health before killing, removing, or cutting them. More than 25% of a mature trees like oak trees weight found in its root system. Injured roots are sustainable for disease and infestation.

There are two types of roots found below ground are:

Feeder Roots – It transfers moisture and nutrients from the soil.

Structural Roots – Stabilize the tree to the ground.

Killing Tree Roots

Killing Tree Roots

There are many methods are available for killing tree roots. Here I will use Cut Down Method

Once a tree is cut down, roots are no longer to grow. Because they are depending on the leaves. Roots may survive by using tree sprouts, neighboring tree association. Sprouts are known as clones of the tree growing. Association with neighboring trees is also helpful for root growing.

Properly cutting tree roots can help achieve a deeper, stronger, and healthier root system.

Cut down the tree process should never be approached without plan. So please understand the process and goal. If you find the entire process complicated, hiring professionals – for example, the Louisville tree root and stump removal team – can help you save a lot of time.

Leaning Trees

Leaning Trees

In this process we will need to invite a tree professional to assess the safety of the tree and which roots may be cut.


The season or situation is very important. Because Cutting tree roots only done in late winter or early spring. Dehydration process is done in this season.


When handling with mature tree, measure the DBH (Diameter of Breast Height). We will need avoid cutting any roots within 5 times the DBH from the tree trunk. If DBH is 12 inches, we will only need to make cuts to roots that are outside of a radius 60 inch from the tree trunk.

Younger Tree

Younger tree is a best chance to cut down the tree. Root of the younger tree is very smaller. So, we easily cut down the trees.

Cut in Quadrants.

Divide the area around the tree into our quadrants and carefully cut roots in 2 quadrants opposite each other. First cut the 2 quadrants and after 2 years cut the second quadrants. It will be the safe for all tresses.

Avoid the Largest Roots

The largest roots are called structural roots. If one of these roots are removed, make sure the cut is made as from the trunk as possible.

Mark Your Cuts

Using spray paint, mark cutting roots to be cut or spray the ground you to dig the roots.

Cut below secondary roots.

Cutting should be made below a secondary root growing downward. It will guide root growth        into deeper soil.

Finish the Job.

Once the root is cut, pull up the remainder of the cut root. Then immediately alter the soil around the remaining root.


Spread a two-to-three-inch layer of mulch over all the root area in the dripline.

Final Words

There are two principles lines are followed in root removal.

Tree has been removed – Large area of tree roots are cut into small areas. It is the first principle of root removal.

Removing Disruptive or Damaging roots- The main principle is do not lose the tree. Only damaging trees are removed in this method.

Tools – For Root Removal We Are Using Many Tools

  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Sharp Hand Saw
  • Cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Soil
  • Mulch
  • Seed

Four methods are followed in Safely remove the roots.

Mark Your Cuts – Using spray paints mark the damaging roots to be cut or spray the ground.

Clear the Surface – Here carefully dig around the surface of the root.

Remove Soil Around Root – Using your spade, remove the soil from the sides of the tree roots.

Sterilize the Saw – Live roots are highly susceptible to disease. We can minimize the exposure by sterilizing the saw.

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