How to Cut Above Ground Tree Roots on Pine Trees


Above ground tree roots pose a hazard to visitors on your property. They can be tripped upon causing serious injury and liability for you as the homeowner. Unfortunately, these tree roots, also called lateral roots, provide strength and nourishment to the tree, which sends out vertical roots from the lateral roots. When removing lateral roots, do so with care to avoid diseases in the tree. The best time of year to cut the above ground tree roots is in late winter or early fall while the tree is dormant and pests are at a minimum.

Step 1

Hire an arborist to verify the tree's stability. If you are removing more than one surface root, there is a danger of the tree becoming unstable.

Step 2

Follow the tree root to its closest point to the tree.

Step 3

Dig around the root to make room for the saw.

Step 4

Amputate the root with as clean a cut as possible. Do not put anything over the stump or it will slow the tree's healing processes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Saw


  • This Old House: Driveway Around Tree
  • Tree Boss: Surface Roots
Keywords: lateral root removal, surface root removal, removing pine roots

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.