Tree roots

Asked July 14, 2017, 3:27 PM EDT

The county is redoing/widening the roads by our church and have already removed 7 trees from the property. There are some oak trees in danger of having roots exposed because of the effort. How to we repair the roots if this happens . Google says cuts ends smooth and apply wood glue to prevent disease from entering. What would you suggest

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Cutting a significant number of major roots may kill the trees and/or turn them into "hazard trees" by making them susceptible to wind throw. This excerpt from a Department of Natural Resources bulletin addresses the subject:

"Severed roots can be the result of lowering the grade, new construction or trenching. This type of damage has few remedies. Severing roots reduces water and nutrient uptake, eliminates stored energy and may compromise the stability of the tree. When the grade is lowered by more than two inches, vital feeder roots are eliminated, nutrient rich topsoil is removed and the remaining root system is severely wounded. If enough of the root system is destroyed or detached, the tree will die. As a general rule, 20% of the root system can be destroyed before the tree will show signs of injury. If 40% of the root system is lost, the tree will probably die. It should also be removed because it is hazardous.

For all types of digging operations, cleanly cut exposed or severed roots to promote rapid wound closure. Vibratory plows and chain trenchers leave cleaner cuts than bulldozers and backhoes. When working inside the dripline, use only hand tools. Instead of trenching, tunnel under the root system when it is necessary to work inside the dripline. Minimize the impact of root severing by avoiding construction during hot, dry weather, keeping trees well watered before and after digging and covering exposed roots with soil or mulch as soon as possible."

Go here to read the complete bulletin: