mystery root from hell

Okay - this is truly a mystery. There are a series of root that run what seems to be the length of my long garden bed (very close the entire 100+ feet of my driveway) Usual depth is about 6 inches, few have been deeper, less often shallower
Each time I find another, it's another fresh hell. They're usually about 1/2 inch in diameter, but yesterday's approaches one full inch. Roots of garden plants I'm trying to divide grow down on either side of this tough root resulting in very sore muscles.
Near the top of the bed is a Manchurian Crabapple with oaks, pines and maples at the very top (typical New England woods). At the bottom of the drive are my snowball viburnum, a clethra (sweet spire - native shrub) and my neighbors ornamental evergreens.
The driveway goes downhill over its length (top being the house etc) maybe 15 degrees. The base tends to stay damp unless there is a drought.
OKay I'm in southern NH and this root wasn't there went I built the bed 20 years ago. I want to do a serious overhaul of the whole thing, but this root is making this old lady achy.
Thank you all
Cheryl
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Cheryl Isaak said:

One or more of the trees at the top of the slope are following the lovely bit of cultivated ground you built down to the moisture at the base of the slope. A tree's root system spreads out a lot more than you would think--much farther than the canopy.
When we put in our second raspberry patch, we found an amazingly large root that ran like a shot from the mulberry tree in one neighbor's yard and across a stretch of lawn straight to my vegetable garden. There was another root that crossed from a different neighbor's yard directly to my compost pile.
When yet another neighbor's white poplar tree was cut down, the extent of the area its roots covered was revealed by the shoots they sent up. They reached outward at least as far as the tree was tall, possibly more.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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On 7/12/13 7:42 AM, Pat Kiewicz wrote:

Well, lets hope which ever tree is sending these roots down the slope survives with them cut. You don't want to know how much my knee hurts today from trying to lift one medium sized daylily. This root has to be over 100 feet from the tree.
I've cut that sucker on either side of the hole. At least when I lift the next few, it won't be an issue on the down side of the bed. Thanks Pat
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You can leave them or remove them. Depends at least partly on how much you value the trees.
I tend to remove them.
If you grab hold and pull, you're likely to make a big mess besides all the hard work. If you just cut it, it's essentially gone. A few years and it will grow back, but the downstream end is dead.
I use either loppers or an axe to cut the root. Cut the segment under the flower bed at both ends, and it's pretty easy to pull out.
--
Dan Espen

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On 7/12/13 9:24 AM, Dan Espen wrote:

I'll use the loppers as I find it in digging stuff up. Next week is start marking more daylilies to either remove permanently from the garden or just divide most of it. Ditto for the Siberian irises.
I'm just amazed that any tree would send out that long a root and it not be a foot or more deep - like right to the water table.
C
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     snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net writes:

My back yard is 100 feet deep and 65 feet wide. Since it is sloped toward the house, I'm working on a terrace right about in the center of that. In doing that, I found a root running side to side, about a foot deep and 1 inch thick.
I was initially concerned I had dug up a power cable, it was that straight and even.
The most likely source is a Norway Spruce that is about 20 feet on the other side of the fence.
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Drew Lawson | Savage bed foot-warmer
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wrote:

A battery-operated Sawzall works really well, too. We were up to that fun not more than a couple of weeks ago.
Boron
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On Fri, 12 Jul 2013 06:56:48 -0400, Cheryl Isaak

At only 6" deep it shouldn't be much of a job to follow the root back to its source... you can lop it off at the edge of the woods but depending on circumstances I'd be more apt to remove such a plant. New England woods are rife with wild grape vines... from my own experience with removal I'd bet that's what you're dealing with... search further into the woods than you might think, the mommy vine can be a good 100'+ into the woods and a good 3"+ in diameter. Wild grapevines are very good at hiding along forest floors and up against tree trunks and don't need a lot of foliage to thrive. Wild grapes are very difficult to get rid of, If your planting beds are relatively close to the woods odds are you will never totally eliminate wild grape vines. Be persistant and good luck. http://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/3846/how-do-i-get-rid-of-wild-grape-vines
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