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I have a large oak tree with above ground roots that grow towards my house and the other way. Will removing the roots endanger the safety of the tree in case of heavy storms. Part of the tree overhangs my roof.

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If you cut the roots you are increasing the danger that the tree will pose a safety issue.

  • roots act as a mechanical support for the tree
  • roots provide nutrients and air to a tree. Research has shown that roots are intricately linked to specific branches.

If you cut the roots then branches on that side of the tree are likely to die.

The best solution is to hire an arborist to do some maintenance pruning:

  • remove dead and crossing branches
  • inspect for cavities and dead areas in the trunk
  • look for signs of disease or insect infestation
  • thin the canopy to reduce the weight of the limbs
  • reduce the amount of branches overhanging your roof

That being said oaks are not known for toppling over unless there are local conditions such as:

  • thin soil over rock
  • weather that includes storms of unusual power
  • ice storms in winter
  • existing damage in terms of insects, dead branches or disease

See here for more detail

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