Mid-Florida Tree Service
Tampa Root Pruning
Imagine you're ready to add a room or deck to your house and your favorite tree is nearby, or maybe you've finally decided to get the swimming pool you've always wanted, but your living privacy screen is pretty close to the project. Any time there are trees in the vicinity of construction, there's a chance they'll be impacted by that project.
The main area of concern is often their roots. Unlike some imagine, the roots reach far past the dripline, sometimes twice the height of the tree or even further. These roots gather water and nutrients, store energy as starch and produce hormones required by the tree. Perhaps the most important job of roots, as far as this topic is concerned, is to support the tree physically. If the roots are cut too close to the trunk, the entire tree could topple, endangering people and property.
Although tree species has a part to play in the type of root system a tree might have, the envirionment has a heavy influence on this as well. There are a realatively few tree species that actually put down a "Tap Root". These species include oaks, hickory, walnut & conifers. Stability wise, these trees are more tolerant to cutting, unless you damage the tap root.
More common is the lateral root system where the roots form a mesh reaching out from the trunk in all directions, but only reaching a couple of feet into the soil. Constuction damage is a big deal to these trees and they can become unstable and sick if their roots are crushed or if too much is cut.
An oblique root system has a mix of shallow and deep roots. These deep roots provide additional stability and may allow more cutting without significant damage to the overall health of the tree.
Of course the obvious method to avoid tree damage is to alter the project, moving it away from the root system. That's not always an option. When it cannot be avoided and root pruning is considered too risky for a particular tree, it might have to be removed.
When the determination has been made that a tree's root system needs to be cut, it is imperative that the right equipment is used to make clean cuts that do not tear or rip the roots. Backhoes and excavators are built to dig, not cut. Attempting to cut roots with this kind of heavy equipment can cause catastrophic damage to the root system and even damage the trunk.
Mid Florida Tree Service can help, using chainsaws, purpose build root-pruning machines, specialized trenchers and even good old-fashined spade shovels to produce clean cuts to minimize root trauma and promote healthy re-growth.
At the very beginning of a construction project, a tree inventory should be done, and the major roots of each tree mapped. This map can be overlayed with the consruction plans to help identify the most serious concerns and allow for mitigation early on in the process.
If you're planning a construction project and have trees nearby, contact Mid Florida Tree Service to consult and, if needed, safely prune the roots of your trees.