enter image description hereI have just had an asbestos garage removed, and am having a shed put up in its place. The concrete base to the garage was cracked right through by my apple tree roots, the concrete has been removed and I cut off a very long root, 32" from the tree. The tree diameter is 13" @4.5 ft up. I realise that I have now hurt the tree. I had no idea, until investigating on the net. There is another much thicker root now exposed 4.5" diameter and I don't know how to handle this. I am thinking root barrier around this bigger root. I am mortified that I may have hurt my beloved apple tree.

Have I damaged it, and how can I help it recover?

  • 1
    You wouldn't happen to have a few pictures, would you?
    – Stephie
    Apr 8, 2015 at 12:19
  • Hi and thanks so much I do have a photo but don't know how to attach it! Apr 8, 2015 at 16:16
  • That is surprisingly easy if you are on a regular computer or tablet: First click on "edit" to make your question "writable". Position your cursor where you want the image to go. Then there should be an "image" icon over the text field, click this. Then follow the instructions in the pop-up window. If you have to do it manually for some reason, see help here (last entry).
    – Stephie
    Apr 8, 2015 at 16:20
  • Thanks Stephie the pic shows the long thinner root which I removed eek! the far larger and fatter one will be saved with a root barrier, now that I have learned some sense! Apr 9, 2015 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


If the root was 32" out from the tree and in the top foot or two of soil, it probably wasn't a mortal injury. Don't mess with the tree for a while, and definitely protect the other root- allow the tree to recover a bit.

If the stub of the root is still exposed, or if you could get to it, you can cover the cut surface in rooting hormone to help it get back on track.

  • 2
    I wouldn't add rooting hormone, rooting hormone is to encourage callous development. It won't do anything to a root. I also wouldn't want to encourage it to try growing under the garage again. I'd try to deter it and pour a much thicker pad (6-8 inches maybe) over what's left of the root and where it was.
    – Escoce
    Apr 8, 2015 at 15:45
  • Thanks so much everyone, I don't feel like too much of a murderer now. The really big root I am leaving in, in fact it comes to the top of the hardcore. I will get some root barrier membrane to fix around it ,and across the thinner root's wounded end. The concrete does not come in until 3 weeks from now so hopefully it will recover somewhat. Apr 8, 2015 at 16:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.