I've clawed some garden back from a neighbour after many years, and on the land is a lovely, Acer Palmatum, I'm not sure of the type, but I can do some photos if the forum will let me post them.
The land is higher than my garden by about 8 inches and it had an old membrane round the base of the tree, covered by about 3-4 inches of stones. The plan was to remove the stones and membrane and bring the soil area round the tree down to the same level as my garden, ready for the new fence going in. As I've peeled back the membrane, I noticed that there are a number of large roots, maybe 3 inches or so in diameter at the surface, and if I were to remove any soil, they would be above ground.
The tree is around 14-16ft tall, and I have had to prune it right back as it had never been pruned and was very bushy. It has multiple trunks and I have removed a couple of the trunks so I can get the new fence in, however, one of the thick, visible roots is going to have to either be removed or hacked back so the fence sits at ground level.
The root in question seems to correspond to the trunk branch that I have sawn off. Does it follow that this root can be safely chopped as the trunk is not there anymore?
If it's not safe to chop the root in half, can I shave off some of the top of the root to make way for the fence, leaving part of the root intact?
There are some other roots that would also end up above ground. I've seen some roots that seem to grow bark, is this what would happen if exposed?
I should point out that I'm only talking about the very large and thick roots that are within a foor or two of the main trunks.
Thanks for any help :)