I have a hillside next to my house (daylight basement) and I wish to install stairs leading to the back yard. At the top of the hill are two 45 year old fir trees about 5 - 6 feet apart. I want the top of the stairs to start between the two trees and end about 6 feet over from the starting point. The horizontal distance they need to cover is about 10 ft., the vertical about 5 ft.

I have two main questions:

How much do I need to worry about cutting through any roots from the trees to place the steps?

Is it realistic to try and put in wood steps made of landscaping timbers, or should I go with stone, eliminating the need to dig out for sleepers and such.

Any other tips anyone might have would also be appreciated.