I am unlucky enough to have city-planted liquid amber planted
on my little strip of meridian. The damned tree is older than
my house and over 70' tall with a trunk that measures 20". The
root system for this behemoth is extensive and a source of
constant pain for me.
The latest issue I have is the off-shoot root that is now
lifting my driveway entrance slab. It's lifted the entire
_piece_ of cement three inches making entrance and exit of my
driveway exciting. The cement isn't broken; I'm not looking to
destroy it either.
I'd like to lift the slab and thus remove the root causing the
problem without breaking the slab into multiple chunks. Is
there a way of do this?
aspasia wrote in message
===>Liquid Amber damaging driveway entrance<==
In People's [Demokratic] Republic of California, northern
prefecture. The little burg I live in believes (and has put it
down in the codes) that they are _only_ responsible for damages
done to the streets and pipes 10' away from each property line.
So I'm responsible for the sewer line into the main, sidewalk,
and gutter. <shrug> It's a nice racket they have going.
When I contacted the city's arborist (and works people) because
of the damage to the sewer pipes, I was informed that I was
unable to remove the offending tree without a permit and
permits were only issued for removal of disease-ridden trees.
<shrug> The works people were the ones that nicely informed me that their responsibilities lay 10' down and out from the edge
of my property. They were _more-than-happy_ to fix the sewer
where the damned tree has broken the pipe but they would be
charging me for such... It works still so I'm in no rush to
worry about it.
I'm simply going to move the slab aside (hopefully without
breaking it into little pieces) and chop the roots that are
lifting it up into little pieced. I might also punch some
copper into the root to assist with "disease" but this tree is
Not given past history where I've performed similar trimming
surgeries. The stupid thing is SUPER resilient and every time
I've removed roots, it's found another way to send them
I've been living with this for 15 years now and it "seems" this
issue hits every five... The first root trimming was around
the sewer pipes. The next trimming was repairing side walk (I
learned not to break cement up into little pieces there if
If I _have_ to, I will demolish the driveway entrance but I'd
rather not. If I can "slide it aside" or that would be
"easiest" (for me.)
There was a TV show a while back on what a liquid amber tree could do to a
swimming pool, concrete slab, foundation and the house itself. The tree was
something like 60' away and yet the it was able to destroy the foundation,
got inside the house and moved it out of level, breaking tiles, etc. Cutting
the roots didn't help as it come right back, maybe killing the tree won't
help either. Everywhere they dig around, the owners found root systems
getting under the foundation, concrete slab, etc. Some of the roots look
like 10" in diameter running under the house. Incredibly aggressive and
tenacious. The structure engineer hired by the owner estimated it would take
somewhere on the order of $800K for repairs, which was the cost of the
house. Dream house not covered by insurance for this kind of damage became
worthless due to one liquid amber tree.
Right now I would be more concern about the foundation and what's under the
house more than the driveway. You maybe lucky if the city admits liability
and willing to fix the problem.
Further, I have not seen anyone lifting a large concrete slab to extract
roots. Trying so with heavy machine will most likely break it. I've done in
on a small scale by saw cutting into smaller slabs but be aware in time the
cut slabs will become uneven due to soil movements - you need to pin it with
rebar dowels by which time would be just easier to replace the whole slab.
What I've seen is grounding the high spots to eliminate tripping hazard but
3" seems to be too much as you wound not have much of a slab left.
A friend of mine had a problem with trees planted by the city. City selects
type of trees, not property owner. Once its planted it became the owner's
property and responsibility but she was not allow to cut it down even when
she had root problems lifting her driveway! She finally was allowed to
remove it due to tree rot at her expense and after paying a permit fee.
Anyway hope your city is more reasonable and wish you luck having it fixed
When we remodeled a little less than a decade ago, I found the
root system under my house. They were all around 2" in diameter
so removing them wasn't too painful. When I moved out into the
front yard, I encountered those mamouth 10" - 14" diameter
hogs. I tried EVERYTHING from chemical dowsing to copper
stakes. The tree just won't die!
Since my remodel, knock on wood/formica/steel, I don't have
that issue anymore. I've been trying to contain the roots to
specific areas and tackling them as they lift things.
I was afraid of this. <sigh> More trouble than it's worth and a
job half-done is twice done...
It wouldn't last one drive-over, were I to grind the high-spot
That's my little burg's policies in a nutshell...
They aren't... And thanks. It looks like breaking up the slab
and repouring another is where I have to go. <sigh> Another
$2600* wasted on that fine specimen of city beautification.
* Cheapest bid for a simple pour. I get to put in the forms,
tie the wire mesh, and work the cement myself.
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