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Tree Root Take-over

First let me say that I enjoy our show, found your site and enjoy it too. I'm not a home owner but rent a place in a small town. Some years back, before my time here, the owner was forced to cut some tree's down and left the stumps at ground level. These stumps have been busy underground all those years and are now poping up as treelets all over the yard. I don't even know what kind of tree it is but every year I have to cut several of the invaders back to the ground. I'm not totally sure if these roots are the cause of the leaky roof the house had a couple of years back, as I have noticed some settling at the center of the house. The tree's were in the back yard withing 10 feet of the house and there is a retaining wall about 6 feet from the front of the house. The treelets have started breaking the surface there. They have nearly killed 3 of the bushes and a cedar tree next to the front of the house.

The stumps are breaking down in the back yard.

I know the easiest way; the costly way is for me to move.
Is there anything that I can do to eliminate unwanted tree growth.

Re: Tree Root Take-over

the best thing 2 do is have a tree guy come and have stump grinder or you can rent a stump grinder

Re: Tree Root Take-over

I wanted to share with you an article about tree roots. It may help to understand how roots grow and then make a better decision as to what to do. And may help others with tree root issues.

Tree roots, which are mostly under the soil, actually comprise a large portion of a tree's mass and are essential to tree health and safety. The roots act like anchors for the trees providing it stability. The roots will absorb water and nutrients which provides the essential elements for the tree to grow and survive. The roots also act as a storage place for the tree’s food supply.
Cutting a root is like cutting a main artery in your own body and by doing this you risk killing or at least doing serious harm to the tree. By removing that large root that lifts up your asphalt, you are eliminating over 25 percent of the tree's total root system. This damage can be seen immediately with effects such as leaves dropping off the limb, the limbs dying, or the tree begins to lean. Oftentimes, the damage may not be seen for 3 or more years, but can result in premature death of the tree as a whole.

This is not to say you cannot cut any root that may be in your way. It means that you have to understand the tree’s root system, how it grows, and how to properly cut the bothersome root. By knowing this, you can significantly reduce the harm to the tree, and possibly to you and your property.

If, after your research, you feel that you can cut the root safely, then first, make your cut as far from the trunk as possible. To see how close to the tree base you can cut the root, measure the diameter of the trunk at a point 4.5 foot above the ground. Take this number and multiply it by 6. That result will tell you how far from the tree base that you will need to make the cut.

Be aware that by cutting this one root, that the tree will react by producing a large number of smaller roots, which may cause future issues.

The best way to make sure you and your tree are safe, is to call your local arborist or your forestry department.

is where the article resides.

Re: Tree Root Take-over

A stump grinder may work, but chasing roots all over your yard can get very expensive if you hire someone, and the rental types of stump grinders are very slow and tedious to use. Both ways will damage your lawn.

A better option might be to use a systemic herbicide on the sprouts that come up. The herbicide will be translocated through the root system, killing what is left of the tree and stopping any more growth. Your garden center will be able to tell you which one to use.

The cheapest and simplest option is to just keep cutting any growth that forms. By doing so, you will eventually starve the root system, and it will die on its own. Try to remove the growth as soon as it forms, as this will reduce the amount of energy the leaves can produce for the root system.

Hope this helps,

Mike Riley
Certified Arborist

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