Trees and a New Driveway

Asked August 20, 2020, 2:37 PM EDT

I have two mature white oak trees that, over time, have pushed up and cracked my concrete driveway (see attached pictures). I want to replace my driveway and have been told that, in order to do so, part of the roots of the trees will need to be ground up where the concrete will be poured.

Is this safe? The trees are at least 70 years old and I don't want to damage them or cut them down. It seems like grinding part of the roots will damage them or make them more susceptible to falling over in extreme weather, but I don't really know. Any advice is appreciated - thanks!

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Avoid damaging or cutting roots, or the tree may die, partially dieback, or may fall over. See page 4 here-

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em8994.pdf

Also, protect all the roots during construction, avoid allowing materials or equipment from being placed over the tree root zone all the way around the tree. See http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=E895AEE2DBB1973D64F94FC26BA0AD3A?doi=10.1.1...

Consider whether the driveway could be elevated/sloped over the roots or rerouted around them.

Hire a certified arborist to assess the situation. There may be a way the arborist can supervise the digging, and move the roots so they are not affected. Certified arborists are professionals who have taken training in care, diseases, pests and passed certification tests. Find certified arborists by zip code here—-

www.treesaregood.org