I'm digging up a portion of my yard in order to put in a patio. It's about 20 feet away from a very large tree. There are several spots in the area where roots are very shallow. They are probably an inch in diameter at the most. What are my options? Are they small enough and far enough from the tree to cut out?
I would remove what you need, and add a little salt to the ground to keep the roots down. It should be fine.
You can get bags of salt from the local hardware for water softeners.
Just like when they used to salt the roads...nothin grows.