Both the large and small roots have an important function.
Function of larger roots
Tree care in San Jose knows that those furnish the tree with a stable foundation. Once a number of them have been cut, the tree’s foundation has lost its ability to stabilize the trunk. Consequently, the trunk leans, and causes the branching structure at its top to head towards the ground.
Function of smaller roots
Those carry nutrients to the tree’s various sections. Multiple cuts to those smaller structures serve to cut-off the supply of nutrients and water. In the absence of those necessary substances, the affected tree can die.
Advice that a homeowner should heed, if faced with need to cut more than a single root.
Estimate the size of each root’s diameter. Do not cut any root that has a diameter of more than 2 inches.
Limit the number of cuts to the smaller roots. Since those carry the nutrients, too many cuts would aid introduction of a stress-making element. When trees get stressed, their lifetime becomes limited.
Do not cut in area covered with mushrooms; those indicate that the mushroom-covered root could contain some type of contagion.
Do not cut any roots that have a diseased branch close to them. That warning should call attention to the need for thorough clean-up procedures, once a trimming or pruning job has been completed. A professional arborist would carry out such procedures.
What factors could force a homeowner to cut more than one root?
• Installation of something in the yard, such as a swimming pool or an extension of the draining system
• Roots threaten to damage a nearby structure: That fact should alert any homeowner to the need for careful planning, when planting trees in yard.
• The need to attack the home of a rodent
• Plans for replacing lead pipes with copper ones: Lead pipes were used in the plumbing lines that ran into older homes, but not those that ran into the newer residences.
Evidence that a given tree is stressed
• Dead limbs
• Dead branches in crown
• Stunted growth
• Yellow foliage
• Signs that some insects have established a summer home, or a winter refuge in the same tree
The observation of such evidence should signal the need to abandon any plans for hurting either the tree’s stabilizing elements, or its source of food and water.
An insects’ summer home could be easy to spot; yet the location of their winter refuge could escape the notice of a homeowner.
Flat, round bumps on a tree’s branches could signal the presence of a winter refuge for insects
A sticky substance that has oozed onto the branches’ surface or the trunk’s surface would also indicate the presence of some insects’ winter refuge.