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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Trim Creations, Mar 18, 2004.
How much or any can surface roots of a vary large oak, can be cut out with out damaging the tree.
You can only cut a few surface roots before you affect the stability of the tree. Those bigs roots are the anchoring roots and cut too many, the tree becomes unstable. Feeder roots are smaller and you can't cut too many of those either.
I'd say consult with a licensed arborist on valuable trees.
I guess my question is why do you want to cut any of the roots?
I would do as Georgiehopper suggested and contact a local arborist, preferably a consulting arborist, though a certified would be fine if you didn't have a consulting nearby.
Find one at http://www.isa-arbor.com. Click on the "find an arborist" link once you get into the site.
They currently have a tree ring and it has been up rooted by the tree and they would like to up date it with a new flower bed but theses roots are above the gropund two to three inches four feet from the tree. the ring would be masive if they leave them and there yard is to small. it would be out or wack.
Best bet would be to remove whatever ring is there (block, edging, what?), and add 2-3 inches of composted leaves, then plant into the compost. Of course, mulch it too.
Adding soil over the top of the basal flare is generally not recommended, however, with only 2-3 inches of compost, you should be fine. Problems arise when you are adding more than that, and it's packed soil that does not allow drainage or aeration.
Call an arborist. They have a formula they use to determine how much you can cut surface roots..ie how close to the tree, how muc area etc...