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So we are in the process as we speak of having our sewer line replaced and the old line ran underneath a large Japanese Cherry Blossom Tree. They did their best job to try and dig around , then placed the root system and tree into the bucket of the digger, pulling upwards, but unfortunately the weight of the tree itself snapped the top off.

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Tree is on the right of the branch pile in the image.

Once they finish up with the sewer line, is there any point in putting the roots and stump back in the ground or is it a lost tree now? We are very sad to see it go :(

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It's hard to see from your picture, but I would guess they broke of 90% off the roots anyway. Tree roots usually extend about as far outwards as the branches.

The chances of this growing at all are not high, and even if there are still some active roots attached to the trunk, they will have started to dehydrate and die if they were out of the ground for more than a few hours (not a few days!)

Even if it does regrow, it won't look like a "tree". You will get a lot of thin branches, either from the base of the trunk, or growing directly from the roots. It will look more like a bush than a tree for several years even if you try to prune it back into something like a tree.

Get the cowboys who vandalized your tree to buy you another one.

  • Being where it is, that's likely a city tree. Call your local Parks and rec. Some towns will kick in $100 towards a replacement tree. That upped me from a sapling to a good 14 foot oak. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 9 '20 at 13:54

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