Can I cut invasive roots and keep this tree?


I have a beautiful Catalpa tree that I love. There is one problem, the people who planned the tree put it to close to the house. The roots are huge and growing to the foundation of our home. Can I cut the roots growing to the house and keep the tree or will it have to be cut down. I hate to cut down a tree.

q invading tree roots
q invading tree roots
q invading tree roots
  7 answers
  • William William on Apr 11, 2019

    Get in touch with an arborist at a good garden center and ask their advice. The tree can also be moved to a different location.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Apr 11, 2019

    Yes you can have the roots cut and you’ll need to cut back the canopy by a similar amount.

    This is to keep the tree balanced.

    I would have a steel barrier put in the ground next to the foundation, to avoid more foundation intrusion. Something like corrugated sheet steel would work.

    If you're going to cut back the canopy yourself, do you know how to prune big trees & the Rule Of Thirds?

  • Robin Jones Ramberg Robin Jones Ramberg on Apr 11, 2019

    No. I would have to get a professional to do it. Thank you for your help.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Apr 11, 2019

    Yes, you can definitely save this beautiful tree. No, don't try to, yourself. We had a similar situation and had to have foundation work done. They dug several large narrow troughs and put steel plates into the ground to curtail root growth and train the roots to grow away from the house. So far, so good. You may be experiencing a similar situation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Apr 12, 2019

      Oddly enough, I would start with a (reputable!!!) foundation repair company. They will evaluate the root situation and be able to determine if there is a threat to your foundation. They do an excellent job in dropping the barriers with minimal disturbance to the surface. Always get an estimate and a contract. And, if you can, get more than one company to check it out. Best of luck saving your beautiful tree (and home!).

  • Car33466483 Car33466483 on Apr 12, 2019

    Yes it's doable but that's a very root invasive tree species. So it would definitely return. Im sorry but I would remove the tree and plant something less invasive. It's not only the tree but the ground may not be the best for good deep TAP ROOTS. Good Luck.

  • Chubby58 Chubby58 on Apr 12, 2019

    Yes, you can. Here is what I found. We're about ready to cut some roots on a maple in the backyard.

    Wrap a measuring tape around the tree, four feet from the tree's base. Then, divide that number by 3.14. Generally, you can safely prune roots that are 3-5 times the diameter away from your tree. So, if your tree has a diameter of 3 feet, only cut tree roots 9-15 feet awayfrom the tree.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Apr 14, 2019

    Check to see if there is a Master Arborist who works for the town/city where you live. I made contact with one in the county next to mine for an issue that I had questions on. He was wonderful with his advice.