There are two types of tree root problems. The first is that the roots themselves have an issue, such as girdling, decay, a lack of moisture, or an insect or disease that causes the tree to die. Alternatively, the roots may create issues in their environment because they are gnarled and twisted.

Common Problems Caused by Tree Roots 

To evaluate the impact of tree roots, keep in mind that a tree’s roots extend two to three times as far as the canopy radius. In arid regions, they may spread up to five times broader than in moist ones. A tree with a diameter of 12 feet—which equals a radius of six feet—may have roots that spread 18 to 30 feet from the trunk.

Damage to Underground Pipes 

Tree roots can break pipes, but the more typical scenario is that pipes collapse on their own as a result of age or other physical damage, after which the tree roots grow into the pipes and cause blockages. Many types of trees are known to contribute to sewer line damage, including aspens, birches, elms, maples, poplars, swamp oaks, sycamores, willows and fig trees.

Damage to Pavement and Sidewalks 

Roots from trees and shrubs can grow beneath walkways and pavements. If the roots are near the surface, they might lift the pavement, posing a tripping hazard as well as causing damage. When this occurs, there is generally a choice between saving the tree by moving the pavement farther away from its roots or cutting back the tree’s encroaching roots in order to save the pavement or pathway.

Surface Roots as Hazards 

A maple tree’s vast, robust roots protruding from the surface may be a familiar sight in your backyard. This frequently happens on a slope where soil erosion leads to root exposure. And, after a winter with frequent thaws, it can only get worse. These exterior roots are not only unsightly, they’re also dangerous. They can be really annoying when you’re mowing the grass because they’re so visible.

Our garden services at Legarden Designs handles every element of the process – from the initial design consultation through the project’s completion. We also provide seasonal reviews and yearly walkthroughs. Contact us today!