Q. I have a large dogwood and I want to move the sidewalk closer to the tree. How can I know if it will damage the roots?
Dear Helene: There is no sure way to know if moving the sidewalk is going to hurt the Dogwood. The feeder roots of the tree are through the area where you will be digging. When the sidewalk is installed, someone will be digging maybe 10" deep. This could affect the tree. When you do the digging, any roots that are cut should be be cut with a clean cut with loppers or pruners. Then after the walk is finished, backfill around the new sidewalk as well as possible with good topsoil. Water the tree in times of drough.