Skip to Content

Best Way to Cut Through Tree Roots: The Definitive Approach

Tree’s are the natural barriers that save us from the suicidal claws of natural catastrophes. And the root is the very foundation that holds the trees to mother earth.

But there’s no unmixed evil on this planet. And the same goes for tree roots.

What exactly is the issue?

The main issue is the roots going a bit too far along the surface. The spread of the root is most of the time harmless. But there are instances when tree roots can be menacing to other begins like the grass on your lawn.  

For this reason, we will be showing you the best way to cut through tree roots.

We know there are a lot of good guides out there. There’s also a ton of experts who may offer a better solution. Furthermore, you could get away with a tree root removal service.

Best Way to Cut Through Tree Roots: The Definitive Approach 1

But we believe our definitive guide will be more than enough for the diy users out there, especially those who want to get things done the right way.

So, bear with us until the very end.

Cutting through tree roots: What tools will you need?

Before cutting a tree root, you need to take care of one important issue.

Do you want to tree to die out completely, or do you want to get away with a temporary solution?

If you want the tree to survive, then there’s a different approach. But if you want the shaving tree roots to be precise and clean with no strings attached, then there’s a way for it as well. We will try and discuss both approaches.

If you can cut down a tree near your house with a chainsaw, then these procedures will be easy for you.

Before doing that, let’s have a quick look at the tools we will be using:

Primary Equipment Secondary Equipment
1.   Root Cutter Blade

2.   Hydraulic Root Cutter

1.   Shovel

2.   Wheelbarrow

3.   Hand Trowel

4.   Root cutting saw

5.   Water

The primary equipment, which is the root cutter blade and the hydraulic root cutter are the two major options you can get your hands on. It is clear that the hydraulic root cutter is to eliminate the roots and its growth permanently.

And the root cutter blade is a manual option. You can be more creative with this option if you want.

Cutting tree roots without killing tree: Approach One

Best Way to Cut Through Tree Roots: The Definitive Approach 2

This approach guarantees the long life of trees. It will allow you to control the root growth to a great extent. In case you’re going to build an insulated cabin or some other structure on the lawn, and a tree root hinders the process, this is the way to go for you. 

You could either use a root cutter blade or the array of secondary equipment we have for you.

Identify the area

The first step is to identify the area surrounding the root and the root itself. Trace the trunk of the root to be exactly sure about the position.

Size is a matter of concern here. If the root is small enough (by your judgment of course), then removing it will cause no harm.

Water the soil

The second is to water the surface around the tree root. Make sure that soil is damp enough to remove. You need to let the water reach the core of the root.

A single, medium-sized bucket of water should be enough here.

Loosen the soil

Now you are ready to loosen the soil.

You need to use your hand in this case because you want to be careful not to harm the longer roots.

You need to try and scoop out the soil from all sides of the root. Again, be careful not to harm the root.

Use a tree root cutting saw

You need to cut off the excess part of the root.

You can either use a root cutter blade or a tree root cutting saw for this purpose.

But make sure you don’t go too far. Trim the roots to around 1/3 of their original size. Anything more can be injurious for the tree.

Digging a trench

Best Way to Cut Through Tree Roots: The Definitive Approach 3

If you’re wondering how to dig a trench through tree roots, then you should know that we are trying to save the tree here. So, you’ll need to be very careful here.

A simple rule of thumb for measurement is to multiple the trees trunk diameter. In the case of young trees, multiplying the trunk diameter by 3 will give you a measure of how far the trench needs to be. You can do the same for full-grown trees. But you need a multiplier of 5 here.

So, you could determine how far to dig the trench.

Build a barrier

After you’ve dug the trench, it is time to build a barrier.

Build the barrier close to the shortened roots. The barrier should be 10×10 or 12×10-inches.

Fill up the ground

Fill up the ground around the root with soil and add compost. Water it regularly for 5-6 weeks and then add fertilizer for good measure.

You now know the methods of cutting tree roots in lawn. 

How to dig through tree roots: Using a hydraulic cutter

A hydraulic root cutter uses the power of hydro-jets. There are three things you need to do here:

  • Attach the cutter to the jet.
  • Center it in the pipe or sewer.
  • Use back and forth motion to clear out roots and debris.

And that’s all there is to it.

This method is suitable for completely eliminating tree roots from your sewer system.

You may also have to deal with roots while digging post holes. So watch out for that.

Final Thoughts

We would like to end our discussion by answering the question: will cut tree roots grow back?

Well, the answer lies in your approach. If you just want to control the root growth then just prune the roots, cut a trench and build a barrier. This should allow the roots to grow back and stay in control.

But if you want to clear out the roots completely, that’s a different story.

Overall, as a diy user, you should now be able to do your own bidding as far working out the best way to cut through tree roots. You have the blueprint, it’s just a matter of execution now.

Still, if you want, you could get a second opinion on the matter. It is, after all, a better practice.