Syzygium australis tree root across pathway, is it possible to shave down 2 inches for approx 3 feet (the width of the path) along the root and seal it with something to avoid stressing the tree. I am in a sub tropical climate and the root is thick oval shaped and goes deep about 12 inches deep and I would be shaving down from about 8 inches from the main trunk.The tree is 30 years old. I want to lay a paver stone path and dont know if I can successfully shave the top off the root or should I just build up the gravel level higher than the root to lay my path on.

  • 1
    Before you consider any changes to the tree's environment it is sometimes helpful to ask yourself how much the tree would cost to remove or to replace if it did not respond well.
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


It's possible, but not advisable. For one thing, using a sealant of any sort on any woody part of a tree is no longer recommended, since infection rates proved to be higher in trees treated this way. Removing a root entirely is worse than shaving some off one, but both may compromise the tree by putting it at risk of either instability or infection.

The best option is to raise the gravel level higher rather than interfere with the roots, but should you decide to risk root shaving, there is guidance here https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/shaving-down-tree-roots.htm

  • Thanks for the info, yes I do agree, raising the gravel level is a much better idea, it will mean there is one step in my path, a very little consolation than shaving a tree root and possible costly problems in the future. Thankyou😊
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 7:42

In Australia the tree would probably live with such rough treatment, but the removal of a big root would make it more likely to fall over in a storm.

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