The tree in the centre of this picture was planted c1981. Notice that it hasn’t grown much since then. This might be due to the hard packed soil. Or the “rain permeable” unit pavers that used to pave the surface around it.
But as the new excavation clearly shows, it hasn’t much in the line of roots. Certainly none that spread more than two feet from the trunk. I wonder what type of soil will go above the gravel base just installed beside it. Will its roots face a better tomorrow?
And this is in a park. Imagine what tree roots face along the streets.