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problem tree roots

HI all-

I am wondering if anyone knows tricks to prevent tree roots from regrowing
in unwelcome places (but without actually killing the tree).  There are
several roots in the way of my retaining wall around the front yard, which I
will chop off, but am worried a million more smaller roots may sprout from
where I cut them off.  I was thinking the filling in around them with gravel
mix (so there are low nutrients available- thus making it inhospitable for
regrowth).  What do you all think?  Any experience with this.


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