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Rooting space

roots deflected by asphalt
Roots deflected by urban structures turn to the side and can make the tree unstable in storms. There are no roots under the pavement in this photo.

Tree roots need to extend out from a tree in all directions in order to stabilize it against wind throw. Impediments to roots include sidewalks, curbs, buildings, parking lots, driveways and other urban structures. Roots deflect sideways or occasionally deeper into the soil when they meet these barriers.

Treatment: If most roots are deflected and stability is judged to be compromized, then reducing or thinning the canopy can reduce forces on the lower trunk and can help stabilize the tree.

roots extend from all directions from trunk
Roots should extend out from the trunk in all directions as shown above in order to stabilize the tree in the soil.