20+ years ago I planted a silver birch sapling which is now a beautul
mature tree and the pride of my garden.
At the same time I laid a york stone patio right next to it.
Unfortunately (if not surprisingly!) the tree roots have lifted and
tilted several of the flagstones to the point that the patio is
positively dangerous & needs to be re-laid
Can I cut back problem roots from the birch at all?? or do I have to
raise the whole patio by the three inches necessary to clear them???
Any advice gratefully received
The roots cannot be cut without risking death to the tree. You could raise the
entire patio but the problem near the tree is likely to re-emerge. Why not just
remove the raised flagstones and substitute a planter or bench or something?
Thanks for the replies - I strongly suspected that root surgery was not
an option! but raising the patio is going to be a BIG job -
unfortunately, replacing the affected flags with benches / planters etc.
won't do the job - about 20% of the flags have lifted to some extent
along two differnt lines. Might be able to remove a couple of flags
closest to the tree. Likewise, moving the patio is not an option - it is
trapped between the tree and a wall on the south, the house on the
northe, a wall on the west and the conservatory on the east!!
If I do raise the whole patio it will involve a 3-inch layer of sand
accross the whole area - I'm a bit disturbed by the suggestion that this
might in itself damage the tree :( I'm pretty certain the tree now has
it's full growth and no further movement of the patio surface has taken
place for a couple of years.
The roots in question are in sand (?) under flagstones already, so no
big risk there.
How about lifting the flagstones that are raised, trimming them to
better accomodate the roots, and putting them back down again? Done
that way, you can do one flagstone at a time.
Care to share photos of this project?
Healthy trees really don't stop growing. You're not noticing further
root development due to heavy foot traffic around the tree, soil
compaction will greatly shorten its life. Raising the soil level
within ten feet of the tree will ensure it's demise. A masonary
patio/walkway around any tree is a bad idea. Some people erect a low
wooden deck around trees over the affected portion of the patio...
some install a decorative wrought iron grate around a tree, composed
of many panels... regardless I'd remove those stones... I'd remove all
those stones to use elsewhere and erect proper decking. You'd get
much better advice were you to post pictures... without actually
seeing what you're talking about all anyone can offer is wild
Cutting tree roots is definetely not good for the tree. It may not be
so beautiful after the roots are severed. Roots need air circulation
too. Removing a beautiful tree sounds more practical than raising a
As the guys above have said I would try to avoid cutting the heavier
roots, as you are more than likely going to damage the whole tree. There
is a right time of year to move plants and if you have ever seen people
that sell larger trees it might be worth giving a tree plantation person
to see if they can help.
> ;889833']On Wed, 2 Jun 2010 07:07:47 -0400, Steve Kind
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