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Paver patio near large Silver Maple #312090 - Ask Extension

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Paver patio near large Silver Maple #312090

Asked April 08, 2016, 2:59 PM EDT

Hello, I would love to put in a paver patio in my back yard. I have a gigantic Silver Maple back there which has caused me several headaches. It's a beautiful tree but I worry that its roots are going to be a problem with this patio. The patio's nearest corner would be about 4 feet away. I have several questions from the research I've done: 1- I read that as long as you don't interfere with more than 1/8 of its root system you shouldn't have to worry about cutting into them. Is this true? Is it a good option to cut down into them to get a patio level to the ground (which is ideally what I would want.) And is it safe to do this (i.e. will the tree fall down)?! 2- Would it be better to build up the patio higher? 3- What are my other options? Thanks in advance! I want to do this right the first time! ~Worried in Windom

Hennepin County Minnesota

Expert Response

Any root damage is a negative to tree health. 
trees use roots to anchor themselves and provide water to the tree top, we recommend pruning to growth during winter so prevent fungus and other foreign bodies from entering the tree, the same is true for the root system.  You have at least two options, either build a wooden deck or remove the tree.  Silver maple are known for their surface roots and will push up large pieces of concrete and will do this over time is the area where the roots have been removed. 
Dennis Mielke Replied April 11, 2016, 6:29 PM EDT

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