Tree Roots Under Patios?

by Gail Knowles
(Yarker, Ontario, Canada)

Dear Reader,

My back yard has about 6-12" of soil over fractured limestone. We put in a patio of pavers about 30 years ago about the same time as we planted two black lotus trees, one on either side of the patio. The trees are now about 30 feet tall and provide fabulous shade for our patio. The patio stones are unaffected by tree roots.

We feel it is time to put in a new patio using pavers of a different design and colour. Here is my question:

The contractor wants to strip away all the stone dust that is under the existing patio, put down fresh dust and add the new pavers. Might there be tree roots under the existing patio and if there are, will they be damaged if all of the current dust is stripped away?

We do not want to loose our trees. Would you please advise me whether we are about to harm them?

Thank you very much for helping me.


I don't understand why the contractor is removing the existing base. A base that has been in place for a long time and is well compacted is better than a new base that may settle. Yes, there could be roots there as well. Is the base compromised somehow and needs replacing? Using the existing base can also save you money. Whenever possible, I like to use an existing base.

Hope this information helps! Thanks for contacting me.


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