Cutting Tree Roots

Dear Bay Gardener:

I have two trees in the front yard. I do not know what kind, but they are about eight feet high with trunks about a foot wide. The problem is the roots are growing above ground. One is growing along the driveway toward the house. Can I cut the roots without damaging the trees?

–Tim Steeley: [email protected]

A: I do not know of any trees that are only eight feet tall with trunks 12 inches in diameter. A tree can survive from having lost 50 percent of its roots. It will regenerate new roots. You will simply slow down the growth.