Today I had some field work on a site we are doing tree protection on. My assignment today was to inspect holes dug for footers for playground equipment and fence posts, as well as an area dug out for a concrete slab. I was to prune any significant roots back to the face of the pit.
So it was an afternoon of laying in the mud with my hands in holes holding a trowel, hand snips, or a hand saw.
An area next to a protected river birch was dug out by hand to prepare it for a concrete pad.
Some roots from the tree were growing into the space for the slab to be poured, so we cut them back to the face of the pit with sharp hand tools (Felco hand snips and a Fanno 112 hand saw).
There were two roots about 3″ in diameter that were removed. Most of them were around an inch in diameter.
With clean root cuts of this size and number, the impact to the protected tree should be minimal.