How To Prevent Tree Roots From Growing Back

person pruning tree root

After you’ve chopped down that dead, unhealthy or hazardous tree, you may think the job is done. However, if you haven’t properly removed the tree stump and roots, you may find that the roots keep on growing and begin to wreak havoc on your property! 

Aside from stealing precious water and soil nutrients from your other healthy trees, leaving tree roots to grow freely can create various problems, including causing damage to your home and garden. From cracking your home’s foundation to disrupting your utility pipes, it’s best to prevent those pesky roots from growing back. We explain the different methods you can use to ensure that your tree roots can’t keep coming back and creating trouble.

Preventing tree roots from growing back

There’s a few different approaches you can take to helping prevent your tree roots from growing back! We explain the pros and cons of various solutions, from root barriers to stump grinding.

1. Pruning the roots 

One of the first steps people usually take to prevent their tree roots from growing is to prune the roots. Depending on the size and thickness of your roots, you can usually prune them using a pair of garden secateurs. However, larger and more established tree roots may need to be cut with a chainsaw. While this can be effective in the short term, it doesn’t stop the roots from continuing to grow in the future. 

2. Stump removal

If your stump remains after tree removal, you may discover the roots keep on growing. You can prevent this by also removing the stump. To do so, there are two main methods; stump poisoning and stump grinding. 

Stump poisoning involves applying chemicals to your stump which break down the roots and remaining stump over a few months. This is an easy and less disruptive method of removal, but does mean the stump and roots will remain in the ground which can impact the appearance of your garden.

To completely remove the stump and roots, you can choose the stump grinding method. A tree surgeon will use a grinder machine which cuts up the stump with a powerful rotating disc and grinds it into usable wood chips. This completely removes the stump and majority of the roots which will help prevent the roots from growing back, and leaves you with mulch to put on the rest of your garden. 

Axe in Tree Stump
3. Removing the roots

Even after you have removed your tree and stump, those persistent roots may continue growing back! This is because, even after the roots have no tree or stump, they can still sprout new growth to support. When faced with this scenario, it is best to remove the roots completely. This is achieved by digging down to the roots using a shovel (or commercial digger for larger and thicker roots), cutting with secateurs or a chainsaw and extracting them from the soil. After you have removed the roots from the ground, ensure that you dispose of them properly. 

Shovel in the dirt

4. Install root barriers

Unable to remove the existing roots? Installing root barriers can help in preventing your tree roots from spreading and growing too long or into problematic areas. These barriers are installed by digging down to the roots (usually at least one metre deep), adding some growth inhibitor at the bottom of the trench and then placing the physical barrier. It’s best to have a professional install these to ensure they are completely effective.

Trust the professionals with your root removal

All the methods mentioned above are best done by expert tree surgeons and certified arborists. Attempting to do-it-yourself can not only be highly dangerous, but also result in the methods being less effective and cause your tree roots to continue growing back. Jim’s Trees can provide you with expert advice and removal services based on your unique tree root needs! Our team will ensure that your roots are completely removed, without putting you or your garden at risk. Request a free quote today!

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