Do I need to remove conifer roots before having a patio installed?

12 Aug 2020
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United Kingdom

I recently had some conifers taken down and the stumps removed. Shortly after I hired a skip to remove an old fence and some concrete flags. The new fence is now up. I would also like to have a patio installed and some artificial grass so I filled up the rest of the skip with some of the gravel. This exposed some rather large roots. I believe that conifers cannot regrow from the roots but would I need to have them removed before the base for the patio went down? I'm assuming yes but obviously don't want to incur the cost if it isn't necessary. I may try and do it myself if I need to remove them and if I can! If I didn't take the roots out could it possibly cause sinking? I've attached some pictures to show the old conifers and the roots that I've exposed by taking up some of the gravel.

Thank you for any advice - I do appreciate it! :)


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I would chop off as much as you can. How deep depends on the type of patio but below the base layer should suffice, whether the blinding sand or a dry cement mix.

But your contractor will handle that, no problem.

TBH I'd do what I can to get rid of them.

Don't trust that a contractor you hire will do a good job in sorting them out.
TBH I'd do what I can to get rid of them.

Don't trust that a contractor you hire will do a good job in sorting them out.
x10, if it is a contactor who has done work for friends, then you may be more certain. But it really is pot luck. My vote is to ignore rate my builder, their rating really misled me the one time I tried.
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Thank you everyone! I've managed to get more out than I expected although it's hard and slow work. I figure I'll keep going as the more I get out myself the better. I'm assuming that if the roots go deeper than say 4 or 5 inches below the ground, I can just lop them off and they won't do any harm to the future patio (e.g. sinking?) Thanks guys! :D

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