I've got tree roots from a maple tree growing dangerously close to a
concrete slab and was hoping someone might have an effective way of
dealing with an issue like this short of swinging the axe. Chainsaws
and grinders in my experience haven't been too effective. The link
below shows the problem and thanks very much for any ideas.
Go to a local metal shop and order some plate aluminum or stainless steel.
Make it 12" "deep" by around 3-4' long and manually insert them right up
against the concrete and even with the top of the dirt. Roots can't get
past solid metal.
Not really frugal cost-wise if you're not a long term resident, but just
I have one of these at my home now if you want me to shoot a photo...
Joe in Northern, NJ - V#8013-R
Currently Riding The "Mother Ship"
Ride a motorcycle in or near NJ?
You don't need metal plates. Fabric root barrier is used now to prevent
roots from growing under sidewalks but the problem I see is installing
Here's one: http://www.geo-synthetics.com/Biobarrier_Root_Fabrics.asp
All of the above solutions were considered, and are good, but in my
similiar situation, I choose to redo the patio because it was also the
finished edge of a new addition to the house. I dug a 12" wide by 15"
concrete footing trench along the perimeter of the patio, included
rebar, and I placed foam board in the trench for a vapor seal along the
face, prior to pouring in the concrete. Tree roots seek out water, and
won't penetrate surfaces where there is none. For this work you'll
have to cut tree roots, which may not be so bad because it appears that
the surface roots you have may be seeking after shallow irrigation
water. I'd irrigate infrequently, but when you do deep water the tree
roots to keep them in the ground.
Well, alge is a plant right? Here's one case where you kill a plant with
copper. The dark/black alge that grows on roof shingles in more humid
Root Kill for treating roots in sewer drains is a copper compound. I
used that brand name product for several years semi-annually instead
of calling roto rooter.
On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 19:27:07 -0400, "Pavel314"
Rock salt down the sewer is just as effective at a fraction of the
price, works great as long as your underground piping isnt steel, which
very few are.
Most bad lines are terracotta pipe, the trees love all those joints:(
Copper will definitely kill tree roots...
and they do make copper nails in different sizes, from roofing nails to
very large ones... check with local hardware store that might be able to
order them for you.
Also something called ""Copper Sulfate"" crystals will also kill tree
Hope this helps.... ~ Webb ~
I seem to be having a problem posting so if this is posted with my
other post sorry but I don think the first one went through.
You know chris this is probably the number 1 reason we are called out
for diveway bids and the fact of the matter is that the fix is very
simply and only needs to be done once a year. Go purchase what is
called a straight edge spade, or long spade picture if you will a flat
shovel that is about 7-8" wide by maybe 13-15" long with a short
handle. Simply run this along the edge of the slab atleast halfway down
more if you can and this cuts off any feeler roots that are heading
twards trouble..once a year is all you need to do it .....If you
already have larger roots you really have no choice but to dig next to
the slab and but them off after doing this do what I have explained
above. We have replaced dozens and dozens of driveways that have been
raised up by roots and we allways cut the roots from 6-12" back from
the slab and instruct the customer as I have above...havent had a call
back yet if you have any doubts talk to a arborist about root growth
patterns and he will tell you this is an effective controll..
Have you considered using a trench digger for burying cables? A trench
digger can make a trench about 3 inches wide and 12 to 18 inches deep quite
easily. Put whatever barrier you want in there and back fill.
Here we have the classic example of a common problem with certain trees
that have surface roots. The roots take up moisture and nutrients
that prevent grass or other plants from growing. And they are more
likely to cause problems with sidewalks than other trees that have
deeper roots. Norway maples are well known for this problem.
It's also unclear how far from the tree trunk the slab is. Obviously,
the farther away, the better the chance of being able to trench and
install a steel barrier without killing the tree. If you're willing to
do that and don't need anything to grow around the tree, it should
work. If not, the other solution is removing the tree and replacing
it with one that doesn't have surface root problems and is located
Many thanks to all of you for your replies. Appreciate that very
much. The tree is a fairly healthy size maple tree and the trunk is
approximately 15' from the slab. A trencher just might be the easiest
approach. Any thoughts on using an axe versus some sort of root saw
if a person doesn't want to bring great harm to the tree. It's fairly
mature and I hate to damage it too significantly but at the same time,
have property to protect.
It was a poor choice of a tree to plant so close to a sidewalk (or a poor
choice for a sidewalk location, as it wasn't specified which came first).
In either case, maple roots grow quite horizontally. Severing the roots,
will most likely damage the tree beyond recoverability, or will certainly
disfigure it, probably in a short time.
Or not. I planted an ash tree close to the sidewalk (over the former
cesspool -- I figured it would send its roots straight down into the
muck; I was wrong), and when the city people came through fixing
sidewalks maybe 10 years ago they whacked off the roots about a foot
from the sidewalk and put down some kind of root barrier. Damn tree
gets cut back to a 15-foot stump every once in a while but it doesn't
seem to have hurt it.
Check with an arborist. Maples are frequently used for bonsai, so they
can't be too delicate.
As with the OP, that's a poor choice of a tree to put near a hardscape
structure, but then you know that now, eh? I'll bet you research the next
tree you plant, a little better. =)
And, I would *never* let a "city worker" touch a tree on my property. A
good rule of thumb is don't plant things in, or near, a right-of-way or
utility easement. Sooner or later, you're going to lose what you planted.
That's actually about the worst thing you can do to a tree. Don't belive
me? As an arborist.
They're trained as bonsai from the beginning. They don't mature, and then
have their roots severed. There's a HUGE difference.
Crime doesn't pay... does that mean my job is a crime?
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