Root Pruning - Suggested Guidlines

Root pruning selectively can save a mature tree and prevent future damage to hardscapes. In many cases root pruning is the only alternative to cutting down the tree. However, root pruning must be done cautiously and professionally to ensure success. The following steps are designed to serve as general guidelines for root pruning. For more detailed information consult with your local Arborist.

1.Soil Amendments: Trees that tend to go into shock when their root systems are disturbed will recover more rapidly by adding the proper soil mix into the root prune cut on the tree side of the barrier.

2.Pruning of Crown: Root pruning unavoidably impairs anchorage to some extent. Pruning of larger roots, or pruning closer to the trunk, will have a more adverse effect on anchorage. Therefore, the foliar canopy should be thinned before.

3.When to Prune: When feasible, root pruning should be done after the end of local high wind season (where those occur), or five or six months before onset of seasonal high winds. When there is a likelihood of excessive wind and/or rain, risk of post-pruning tree loss is high, and exceptional care must be taken in any root pruning operations.

4.Limit of Annual Root Pruning: When root pruning is done within seven trunk diameters of the tree base, pruning and DeepRoot Barrier installation should be limited to one side per year. For installations on more than one side, there should be an interval of one year between successive prunings.

5.Minimum distance from Trunk: Follow Table V and the illustrations shown. Root pruning closer than three trunk diameters from the tree base is not recommended, due to increased injury/infection at pruning site, and to increased danger of treefall from impaired anchorage.

Note: Because trees and their related root problems vary considerably, specific guidelines cannot be pre-scribed, therefore, these guidelines are broad in scope and each tree must be evaluted individually using sound judgement. Always consult your local qualified Arborist before root pruning.

Table V
General Guide for Minimum
Distance for Rootcut

Trunk Caliper 
Measured 12" 
Above Ground
4 Inches 

20 .
Root Cut 
(3X Trunk Caliper)
12 Inches

DeepRoot Barrier LB 12-2, UB 18-2