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I have a 30ft tall, 24in diameter Silver Maple tree, smack right in the middle of my 40ft-wide front lawn.

I'd like to widen my 10ft-wide driveway, but I don't want to cut down the tree, because it is still alive. I can probably widen the driveway a little bit, but I can see some roots sticking out that may get damaged while digging the ground 1ft deep for sand/gravel base.

If the roots get damaged in the process, will it kill my tree? I read that it will eventually die and fall to the other side of the damaged roots.

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    More like kill the driveway. I mean you should hand-shovel or air/water blast anytime you're near roots of a tree you don't hate... don't just sit in a backhoe and drag a blade across them like a kid with a toy. But if you don't kill it, that root is going to grow, and push the pavement up when it does. – Harper Apr 7 '17 at 22:22
  • In Dallas the silver maple is a menace. It is fast growing, short lived, and when it get large it drops massive branches from a considerable height. It's a car smasher and widow maker. Cut it down and plant a decent tree near there but away from the driveway. But maybe silver maples do better where you are. – Jim Stewart Apr 8 '17 at 1:24
  • Why do you want to widen your driveway? Need off-street parking for another vehicle? Could you use a "pervious" paving material that would allow air and water into the soil? This might prevent or at least reduce damage to the roots of this silver maple and allow you to put off dealing with the tree. A pervious surface could be blocks with narrow spaces between them. Blocks basically laid on the existing surface might tilt with use and look terrible, but save the tree from the damage of excavation and coverage with an impervious pavement. – Jim Stewart Apr 8 '17 at 10:09

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