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Trees/tap roots


I live in Appleton, WI and recently my pussy willow tree split in half due to an ice storm. The tree was mature about 10-12 feet in height. My question is will there be a tap root to contend with when removing the trunk which is now lying in about a 45 degree angle?

Hi Tom,

Most likely you will not have a large tap root to contend with with such a small tree. If the tree was planted in fairly fertile soil and doesn't have to go deep for water, then most of the roots will be found in the upper 3 feet of soil. In dryer climates you might find a trees with deep roots as they search for water. In your case though I wouldn't expect to encounter too much that a little sweat and muscle couldn't deal with.

Here's a link to an interesting book discussing this very question:

Thanks for the question and best of luck with your project.



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James Parker


I can answer questions regarding tree identification, plant pathology (plant diseases), entomology (plant insect problems), soil science, organic horticultural practices, proper pruning techniques, pesticide questions, watering, turf care, fertilizing.


I have 10 years of experience in Forestry and Urban Forestry in Greater New York City working and consulting for government agencies, private residents and large corporations.

International Society of Arboriculture Connecticut Tree Protection Association North Eastern Organic Farmers Association

Bachelors of Science Horticulture Oregon State International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist (NE-6660A) Connecticut Arborist License (S-5496) CT Pesticide Supervisors License (S-5496) NY Commercial Applicators License (CO881265) Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP)

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