Help with Blue Spruce Roots

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Marn, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    I hope i can get some help here ... we just bought this house and what i want to know would it hurt the Blue Spruces if we chopped the roots that are along the pathway (would like to get that filled in with grass and not worry about the lawn mower getting hurt by the roots) so if we chopped out those sections of roots would it kill the trees.. my husband loves the trees and doesnt want to lose them .. these roots are about 25 feet from the trees but it looks like they are also under the house ..
    the reason that pathway is there is the previous people that lived in the house ruined the backdoor so they couldnt go out it and always went out the front and walked around

    Thanks for any help ...
    Ive attached pics so you can see what im talking about..

    Marion
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Instead of digging down to make a base for turf add the minimum depth needed of screened topsoil and plant in that. Cover the emerging roots rather than cut them.
     
  3. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    It is hard to see in the pic but they are up above the level of the ground .. we really dont want to do the whole yard .. just get that area filled in ...
    it also looks like the roots are getting close to the house of not allready under the house .. would it still hurt the trees to chop that section of roots out ??

    Marion
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not likely to do anything to the foundation. If there are emerging roots all over the lawn then re-grading the lawn by filling so it is just above the tops of the roots is, in fact what needs to be done - if the lawn is to be maintained. Cutting the roots off and ripping them up would not be a good approach.

    The optimum situation would have been for the lower branches of the conifers to have been kept to the ground, producing an elegant sweeping effect. Now you can see right through them to the street behind, and they appear to be floating above the ground instead of solidly anchored.

    Bare needly ground beneath the trees will always be present as long as the trees remain. Having lawn come right up to the trunks of such specimens will not be very easy to achieve and maintain at all - it is not the same situation as with tall, high-branching trees. Better to mulch beneath the trees with wood chips or similar material, and leave the lawn-keeping to more open sections where a substantial growth of grass is already present.
     
  5. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    Ron ... we are not worried about the underneath of the tree .. the branches have been cut up high enough to the point were we can walk under them comfortably .. we are planning on putting a picnic table under the trees ... in that area were there is no grass.. what im concerned about is will cutting those roots along that muddy pathway hurt the trees... thats all i want to know .. we know the rest of the grass will come in on the lawn .. our old house had nothing but dead grass by next spring it came back o nice and green .. as i stated before the people that lived here before didn not care about anything around here .. why should they they got free rent .. they destroyed so much ..

    Thanks..

    Marion
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The bottom line is that tree roots swelling up into the way of mowing are best dealt with by raising the level of the grass with a shallow fill. Cutting and pulling up the roots of trees that are to be kept healthy is not recommended.
     
  7. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Ron .. we are not sure what we are going to do ... husband wants grass there .. i say make a gravel walkway there .. cause from that pathway to the house is gonna be some landscapeing .. just to make the front look a lil better...

    Marion
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    yes, cutting the roots could likely damage the tree. regrading the area by adding soil is the proper way to deal with the situation.

    if you're going to fix the back door, then you wouldn't really need a walkway in that spot, would you? so, you could just regrade it and lay seed down or sod.

    if you do still want something there, i'd get the regrading done and let it settle in for a good year and then do something not too overboard/obvious - big pieces of slate placed kind of randomly a few inches apart (so that you have grass growing in between them) and placed lower than the grass grows so that you can just go right over with the mower and not have to worry about hitting anything.
     
  9. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    I was just wanting to fill it in with gravel/rocks .. decorative .. maybe white or lava rocks .. i think that would look neat .. but hubbsy wants grass there so i guess the grass will go in ...lol.. he gets the front yard .. (well kinda) and i get the back yard to do what i want ...lol.. flowers.. veggies... trees ...

    Marion
     
  10. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd have no qualms about cutting them with a sharp blade.

    They headed for a patio?

    If so - those would have to be cut anyway, and prolonging just means bigger cuts later.

    Not sure if you would want to do much more cutting closer to the trees. But in some years, they are going to pop more roots on the top.

    If you don't cut any, the trees are going to "own you" in time.
     
  11. Marn

    Marn Active Member 10 Years

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    lol.. those trees own the neighbourhood .. it is hard to tell in the pic but they are huge trees ..
    the roots are headed for under the house if not allready there ..
    so it wouldnt hurt the trees to chop that section of roots .. ??
    i know i have heard of people doing that and things have been allright .. but i also know some trees cant take it ..

    Marion
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Although in terms of accessing water the trees could probably survive one or two roots that size being cut, there is a risk that they wouldn't be strong enough to resist a gale and might blow down. I'd go with Ron B's suggestion.
     

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