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  • Writer's pictureLizé Groenewald

What happens when you cut trees' roots?


Trees are an important part of our planet's ecosystem, providing numerous environmental benefits such as oxygen production, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat. However, trees can become a nuisance in urban areas, and people may feel compelled to cut them down or trim their roots. Cutting tree roots can have serious consequences for the tree's health and stability, and we'll look at what happens when you cut tree roots in this blog post.



To begin, it is critical to understand that roots are an essential part of a tree's anatomy and play an important role in the tree's overall health and stability. The roots draw water and nutrients from the soil, anchor the tree, and support the trunk and branches. Cutting the roots interferes with the tree's ability to access water and nutrients, which can have serious consequences.


Destabilization is one of the most common side effects of cutting tree roots. When the roots of a tree are cut, the tree's stability is jeopardized, and the risk of it falling over increases. This is especially true for large trees, whose extensive root system provides the necessary support to keep the tree upright. Cutting the roots exposes the tree to wind and storm damage, which can result in property damage and personal injury.


Cutting tree roots may also cause the tree to become stressed. Trees are living organisms that can be stressed, just like any other living thing. When a tree's roots are cut, the tree becomes stressed, weakening it and making it more vulnerable to diseases and pests. This may eventually kill the tree if it lacks attention and care.


Damage to nearby infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, and buildings, can also result from cutting tree roots. The roots of trees can grow to be quite large, causing structural damage if cutting is required to prevent further spreading of the roots into the structure. If the damage is severe enough, it could lead to costly repairs and even a lawsuit in some cases.


Finally, cutting tree roots can have a negative impact on the environment. Trees play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, and removing or damaging them can have serious environmental consequences. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, which aids in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against climate change. They also provide habitat for wildlife, and removing them can result in animal displacement and the destruction of their homes.


To conclude, cutting tree roots can have serious consequences for the tree and the environment. Before cutting tree roots, consider the long-term implications and consult with a professional arborist. Alternative solutions that do not harm the tree's roots may be available in some cases as well. If you don't know where to find a tree care specialist - click here.

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