Cherry trees have a very shallow root system. While a few trees grow very deep root systems, most have roots that only grow 12 to 16 inches deep – and cherry tree roots do not usually grow this deep.
The roots of a cherry tree have two main functions. Larger roots anchor the tree to the ground and transport nutrients and water to the rest of the tree. Smaller feeder roots pull nutrients and water from the soil, and then send it to the larger roots. Since these larger roots are shallower and more vertical than many other trees, they can cause damage to concrete and landscaping. It is best to plant cherry trees where there's plenty of space because of their shallow roots.