Repair Tree Root Damage to a Paver Walkway

paved walkway around the gazebo
  • 6-12 hours
  • Beginner
  • 1-80
What You'll Need
Replacement pavers
Metal guard

If you have a paver walkway in your garden, then nearby trees or bushes can lead to root damage. Roots get under the walkway and lift up the stones as they grow. This can also be caused by small weeds, which go in between the pavers and loosen the sand with their roots, causing the pavers to become damaged. One solution to this is to remove the tree completely before laying the pavers, but if you have accidentally suffered root damage, then you will need to fix the paver walkway to restore it. Fixing a paver walkway can be a time-consuming task, so it may take you a weekend to complete this project.

Step 1 - Dig Down

To access the part of the root which is causing the damage, you will need to dig down below your pavers. It is not a good idea to disturb the whole walkway just to get at one root, so use a simple chisel and mallet to remove the sand around the affected pavers. Then chisel away the sand and gravel below it, lifting it out with your trowel. You should be able to easily remove the laid walkway until you reach the cause of your root damage. Don't go too far across the walkway, otherwise, you may create an odd-looking path.

Step 2 - Remove the Root

Next, dig away the soil below your path until you get a good portion of the root above the soil. Examine at the root, and consider whether it needs to be cut to completely take it away from the walkway, or simply trailed back in a different direction. Most of the time, it is fine to cut a small root. You may need to saw off larger roots and place a metal guard against the stump so that it can not regrow. Use pruners to cut off the large root, and then place a sheet of metal in the ground, right against the root. You can check the root every year to make sure that it is not regrowing.

Step 3 - Repair the Ground

Now the root has been removed, you can repair the paver walkway. Start by replacing the soil you had to remove to get at the root, and then compact the soil. Mix in a layer of sand and compact it. Make sure that you are keeping a similar depth to the rest of the walkway. Press the gravel into place, and then add your new sand. This should all be level with the sand of other parts of the walkway.

Step 4 - Add the Pavers

Discard any pavers that were damaged by the root, and add new ones. Lay them in the sand, tapping them with the mallet until they are level with the rest of the walkway. Add more sand around the pavers, and then dampen the area so that the sand will set and form a hard basis for your path.