I have 2 cedar trees that have roots approx 3" in diameter that are located close to the top of the basement (concrete foundation) of my house. The diameter of the trees are about 24" at the base and are growing approx 10' from my house. I would like to cut the root closest to the house to keep it away from the foundation. Thoughts, please?

1 Answer 1


Sorry, but the only solution here is to fell the trees.

If you have 3" diameter roots that you can see at ground level, you have no idea what is going on 5 or 10 feet below ground level, unless you do a huge amount of digging.

And if you do cut off all the roots on one side of the tree, think what might happen the next time you have a severe wind storm. You made the tree more likely to blow down, and it will most likely fall in the direction where there are no roots - i.e onto your house, not into your yard.

  • I've always been taught that a tree is most likely to fall away from the area where there are no roots, as there's essentially nothing structural holding the tree in place - that would be with a prevailing wind blowing towards the area with the roots. Different teachers = different lessons, I guess :) In either case, your answer is spot on.(+1)
    – Jurp
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 14:45
  • Is there any damage to the foundation wall? Have you followed the 3" roots toward the foundation and found out where they go when they hit the wall (do they turn and follow the foundation or dive below ground level)?
    – Jurp
    Commented May 14, 2020 at 14:46

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