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jamphan
River Birch Roots Taking Over

We have 2 large river birch trees in our backyard. The roots are coming to the surface and beginning to take over the yard. It is killing the grass in areas and we are afraid the roots are going to spread under the house and driveway and cause problems. What can we do to get our yard back and keep the trees. We really like them. Thanks!

Timothy Miller
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

Nothing. Addig soil to smooth things out helps but only a temp help.

jamphan
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

So the long term solution would be to remove the trees?

Timothy Miller
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

Become one with the roots. These are pretty trees, perhaps a large planter and some mulch or just mulch.

Tom
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

Yes Remove the trees. If you replant consult with your local nurseryman or arborist to make sure the trees you replant don't shade out the grass or have roots that come to the surface. Mountain Ash is a nice species with tiny leaves that don't have to be raked, light shade so grass can grow and a nice specimen tree.

jamphan
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

These are beautiful trees and we would like to keep them, however they are about 40 feet tall now and some of the roots are out of the ground nearly a foot high and starting to spread everywhere. Our daughter trips on them when she's out there. Not to mention our grass is starting to be replaced with dirt spots with tiny roots from the tree.

jamphan
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

Any other possible solutions?

meppizza
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

I just finished a quick on line check on river birch and it looks like it would be best to remove the trees. Though beautiful they pose danger to your house--a strong storm and shallow roots could wreck havoc to your roof. Roots spread out up to 3 times the diameter of the tree thus threatening yours and your neighbors driveways and sidewalks. Not sure what it would do to your house foundation. But it's a decision that maybe a local arborist could help you make.

Sprescott
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

If we just cut the exposed roots will it kill the entire tree. It's pushing up our patio slab.

A. Spruce
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over
Sprescott wrote:

If we just cut the exposed roots will it kill the entire tree. It's pushing up our patio slab.

Depends on the tree, surface roots are generally caused by surface water, such as daily/weekly watering of lawns. Topical watering draws tree roots to the surface, whereas deep watering promotes tree roots to go deeper and fend for their own water.

Know that cutting roots at the edge of your patio will only stop what is under the patio already, it won't stop the root from regrowing, nor will it stop other roots from traveling under the patio and causing damage. Worse still, is that trees too close to the house can cause foundation issues too, so if the tree is already causing serious damage, it's time to take it out, eradicate the root system, and plant something that won't be invasive or damaging to the home.

Sprescott
Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

The tree is in a raised brick bed. It's the focal point of the patio. The exposed roots are coming up
underneath the brick. Will simply cutting back the exposed roots kill the tree? How long will it take to die? Years, months?

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