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Roots from neighbor's tree ruining part of my yard

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by feenyman99, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hi. Our neighbors, with whom we get along just fine, have a tree just on their side of their property whose roots come into our yard. The roots are above ground, making that part of our yard virtually unusable; it's difficult to even walk there. It's also possible that the roots will start to buckle our concrete pad that they are headed for.

    We plan on talking to them about the issue, but I'd first like to get some opinions, from those more knowledgeable, on what are the options / possibilities.

    If we cut the roots, it may damage the tree, right?

    Could we "raise" that section of the yard, by adding soil to cover the roots? (Obviously, that would not prevent the roots from impacting our concrete pad - shown in the bottom right of one of the pictures - or our house.)

    If the recommendation is to remove the tree, would it be fair for us to share the cost with them?

    I'm adding some pictures. It's probably obvious but... In the picture that shows the trees themselves, our house is to the left - u can just see part of our deck.

    Thanx for any advice to one who is very UN-knowledgeable on this topic :(.

    feenyman99 IMG_1780.JPG IMG_1781.JPG IMG_1782.JPG IMG_1783.JPG IMG_1784.JPG
     
  2. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Removing the tree is a hard discussion you would have to have with your neighbour.

    I would put root barrier about 1' away from your concrete pad. Most barriers are about 2' deep, so you would need to dig a trench, cut any roots you encounter, lay in the barrier and fill in the trench. The amount of roots you cut won't impact the tree.

    I think that some of those surface roots can be cut without impacting the tree.

    I suspect that the shade from the trees are impacting your grass more. I would be inclined to install a shade garden under the trees, planting things like hostas.
     
  3. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    It may just be the angle from which the last photo was taken, but it looks like your house is potentially at risk if a storm or damage or disease brings down part of the closest tree.

    If you do anything, even with agreement of the neighbor, that could harm the trees you might find unintended legal consequences. You may want to consult an attorney and review your homeowner's insurance policy.
     
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  4. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    I don't think the roots threaten your foundation.

    Just add small amounts of soil over those roots. Good top soil and not more than one inch per year.

    Looks like you get some nice shade from those trees. They are worth keeping.
     
  5. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    given the picture and trees lean i'd say you can cut clean off the non supporting surface roots to about 4 foot from tree trunk then lightly earth mound and appropriate ground cover plant or landscape over the remainder,,, if got the spare $ undertake some Arb qualified canopy weight work of the limb over your balcony to lessen failure..

    IMG_1780.JPG
     
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  6. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanx to all for your quick and helpful responses! :clap: Based on what's been said, my current plan is to contact a local Arborist and have him/her come over and make a recommendation. I like Derwoodii the Tree Freak's suggestion: Cut the surface roots that are more distant from the tree, and add some earth and ground cover for the rest. I'll see if an ISA-certified Arborist agrees, after an inspection. I'll also ask about some "canopy weight work", with my first question being "What is that??". o_O

    I'll post again to let y'all know the results...

    Thanx again, everyone. This forum is a great resource.
    feenyman99
     
  7. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    reduction of limbs eg take about a 1/3 of limbs from main bow overhanging home a good arborist will know what to do

    Some others here may disagree with tree root pruning and they have a case as well but i do this a lot and comfortable while being careful & selective with my work
     
  8. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Be a good mulch garden area. The roots I think are too far away from the base to ruin your foundation. The problem with cutting the roots is canopy will likely decline, the tree already has some dead that should be removed in fall and a reduction on your side would be prudent imo.
     
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  9. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    ropensaddle,

    I Googled "mulch garden" and came away empty :(. Is it simply an area that contains mulch, and nothing else? If so, I think even I could handle that ;).

    thx,
    feenyman99
     
  10. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    https://www.google.com/search?q=landscaping+with+mulch+and+rocks&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=Ht2hcDX7fVL2BM%3A%2CNU4wLie5x9vkAM%2C_&usg=__erLgQmWSrI2vu6RPN-4hL-Xqgdo=&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3tcmmxM_bAhVKl1QKHWzeBc8Q9QEIOzAJ#imgrc=Ht2hcDX7fVL2BM:
    Mulch with flower beds sometimes sculptues water falls etc it can be plain , it can be high end and ornate! I have done mulch themes similar to these in the link but I try to use wood chips instead of colored in my own stuff. I just posted this to give you some ideas of how that space can be used ! Its hard work but not impossible for even an amateur to make that space brighten up a yard in a way that also helps the tree!
     
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  11. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanx much ropensaddle. Lots of great ideas.
     
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  12. bayard

    bayard ArboristSite Guru

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    that tree is hanging over your house, why take the risk. make a deal and take it down.
     
  13. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    The risk can be mitigated. How old you think that tree is, has it ruined the house ? Just because a tree has lean from photo tropism does not make it a risk. Note: it would not hurt the op to have a risk assessment done on site by a competent arborist trained in risk assessment but in no way can you say that tree is risking his property from that picture alone.
     
  14. bayard

    bayard ArboristSite Guru

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    well we just had a high wind storm here a few weeks ago. hundreds of houses are wrecked.
     
  15. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    I see, well we have tornado's in Ar so maybe we should make it the great plains with mountains ? I mean assessing risk is better left to professionals than to mass hysteria right? Do you take out your gall bladder at age 20 because maybe at 50 it will become clogged with bile ?
     
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  16. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    So..... I had an ISA-Certified Arborist from Savatree come and take a look at my root situation. His stance was "cutting any of these roots will have some impact on the tree." He also made some suggestions for pruning and adding a cable to support one of the large branches over my house. However, he did not believe that the pruning and cable were urgently needed.

    At this point, I will look into some way to live with the roots. Landscaping... hardscaping... some other clever design.

    Thanx for all the suggestions. It's really helping me move forward.
    feenyman99
     
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  17. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The key works were 'some impact'. How much is some? If you prick your finger and get a drop of blood, you are having 'some impact' on your body, but is it significant?

    To put it in perspective, I had to work at a golf course, where we removed many surface roots from flowering cherries where people were going to walk during a PGA event. The area of cherries was large enough and located where they wanted spectator viewing stands that cordoning off the area of surface roots was not an option. In the end the impact on the trees was not significant.
     
  18. feenyman99

    feenyman99 ArboristSite Lurker

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    BC,

    At this point, I've gotten several opinions from several arborists, including one who made a visual inspection. Bottom line: There is no consensus.

    I've also received some suggestions from this forum on how I can "live with the roots", and still enjoy the area. And I've decided that this is the path I feel most comfortable with.

    I appreciate everyone's input. It really has helped me choose the way forward. If I do something "interesting" with the area, I'll post some pictures here.

    Thx,
    feenyman99
     
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