Messages posted to thread:

Lindy19-Jan-02 11:19 PM EST 8   
hdn19-Jan-02 11:43 PM EST   
Lindy20-Jan-02 12:01 AM EST   
D20-Jan-02 12:23 AM EST   
hdn20-Jan-02 12:18 PM EST   
Ed20-Jan-02 12:55 PM EST 5b   

Subject: tree roots
From: Lindy
Zone: 8
Date: 19-Jan-02 11:19 PM EST

We are considering purchasing a residence that has 20 large cedar and 3 fir trees around it. It isn't a very big lot 9000sq.ft. If the trees are removed will the roots die on their own. The surface roots are so bad that you can't drag a rake across the lawn. With the trees gone it would be a warm and sunny home! Any thoughts on this?

Subject: RE: tree roots
From: hdn
Date: 19-Jan-02 11:43 PM EST

Ummm, well, why not look for a warm and sunny home then? I think 20 large cedar trees and 3 fir trees sound lovely. Also what would the neighbors think about such drastic changes? I am not an expert but am fairly certain the roots would take a long time to decompose.

Subject: RE: tree roots
From: Lindy
Date: 20-Jan-02 12:01 AM EST

The point is that we've been leasing the home for 18 months and it would be a good buy, the home is great except that we love gardening and the whole neighbourhood is drenched in sunlight excepts us. The neighbour on the shady side would love us for removing them!

Subject: RE: tree roots
From: D
Date: 20-Jan-02 12:23 AM EST

I am sure the roots would take forever to disappear on their own. Every now and then I still dig up poplar roots hardly worse for being without a a tree; the trees have been gone for 8 years! Shade gardening is so much harder, and there are far fewer large lovely blooms. I like the sun too. Or part shade. Could you didg out the surface roots too, just deep enough to make a lawn cover nicely? A local nusery should be able to make suggestions. Good luck with your garden make over!

Subject: RE: tree roots
From: hdn
Date: 20-Jan-02 12:18 PM EST

Another thought then Lindy would be to have the trees limbed and/or pruned to let in more light. Several of our neighbours have recently done this to allow for more light and view . One neighbor opted for topping with disastrous visual results. Look around your area to see who has had tree work done recently. Ask for referrals. Many professional aborists will give free advise/quotes.

Subject: RE: tree roots
From: Ed
Zone: 5b
Date: 20-Jan-02 12:55 PM EST

Unwanted trees, no matter how beautiful, may reasonably be given the same cosideration as weeds. Yes, if the trees, coniferous in this case, are removed the roots will automatically die over a period of time.In the absence of a site inspection, recommending a method of removal is virtually impossible. Small lot, large trees; not much to go on! If the site is accessible to power machinery and the cost not prohibitive, a properly equipped landscape contractor could get rid of them in short order. If because af space limitation, you have no alternative to manual removal I would proceed something as follows ; remove the top, leaving a stump of 4 to 6 ft., from which all side branches are then removed. Dig a trench around the circumference of the stump, out about 18-24", the distance depending on its size and the thickness of the roots when these become exposed. Roots of most conifers are fairly shallow , so severing with axe or hatchet,and removing spade width sections would be the next step. From here on, keep working towards the trunk, prodding out soil, and severing additional root sections as these become exposed, until pressure on the stump top, now serving as a lever, results in the vertical becoming increasingly more horizontal. Having come this far, removing most of the remaining roots becomes increasinly easier as they become thinner towards the drip line, where they are probably so thin as to offer no resistance to spade or tiller; simply work these into the soil, and all trace of them will disappear within a year.

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