How do I suppress the growth ot tree roots?

I want to stop the growth of tree roots under my house.
I hear that copper nails, hammered into the root in question, will do this.
Can anyone confirm if this is true?
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Don't know about the nails, but we had to stop the root growth from breaking up the blacktop of our driveway. We removed the dirt on the affected side, down to expose the roots and chopped them all with an axe. The trees are huge Scotch Pines and it hasn't affected them at all. Sue in Mi. (zone 5)
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Do not use the Copper Nail. I have seen this used and the whole tree died within 18 months. Best Wishes.

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"Not only is a copper nail not only not going to kill the tree, but it is a primary components of many fungicides." [Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture]
Trenching around the house and cutting off roots approaching the house is the best option.
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wrote:

A copper nail may not kill the tree, but copper in sufficient quantity is toxic to most plants. Copper is often used in nursery containers for trees to kill off root shoots to prevent girdling. Copper sulphate injections are sometimes used to kill invasive roots, in much the same manner the OP wishes to achieve. I would do some research on proper quantities before attempting this solution, however, to prevent killing off the entire plant.
pam - gardengal
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Thanx for all replies.... I have been reading up on this, and copper sulfate is used to flush down toilets to dissuade roots penetrating cracked sewer pipes, and to kill roots present already.
The corpses of these killed roots are meant to rot away after the treatment, though the copper may supress this since bacteria and fungi are plants too.
I must check out the copper-injection process because this might be done in a root far from the parent tree.
The tree in question is deciduous (possibly an Elm) which shows vigorous growth every spring.
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g'day peter,
not sure what you may have over there but over here there is a product called root barrier it is like rubber sheeting that the roots can't penetrate. you can instal it yourself by digging a trench (hard yakka doing all that digging) or have someone install it. can't see just simply chopping the roots being a long term arrangement as like tree branches that get pruned other roots will grow back and continue spreading.
len
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Thank you for the replies. My house is in town and the city council is supposed to trench around the house and put down a concrete barrier. They did this at the front of the house, because it was evident that the veranda was lifting, but they will not do it at the side (the house is on a corner) because there "is no evidence of any damage"! When I explain about preventive maintenance they say their budget doesn't cover this. I think I will try the copper nail route because I can access the tree root(s) via a deep drill hole in the footpath. I wonder how long it takes to work?

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Why not just cut the offending roots, they will take a time to get back to any size and much less risk of killing the tree.
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David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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I heartily Agree!!!! Regards Mike Gilmore WinsfordWalledGarden, SW England, USDA Zone9a

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