Redwood Tree Roots Pruning

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by cupertinowoods, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. cupertinowoods

    cupertinowoods Member

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    We have a Redwood tree in our backyard that's about 75 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter. The roots are getting close to the concrete patio and in the near future get close to the foundation. We love the tree and would like to keep it and would like to get some advise on what we should consider doing in the short term and long term:

    a. Prune the roots ? Would pruning cause any stability and health issues to the tree ?

    Appreciate your respones.
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    You can't prune those roots meaningfully for any length of time - you'll either end up hurting the tree, or more likely just being ineffective - it's got a lot more deeper and larger roots than you can deal with at this point. You have a REDWOOD tree - one of the largest in the world, and if it's closing in on your house (should never have been put there in the first place), you'll either have to make a very hard decision about the tree, or your house. They're not bkyd shade trees.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    depending on the proximity of the roots and their size, it may be an opportunity to install root barrier and deflect the roots away from the structure.

    www.deeproot.com is one brand I have used a few times.
     
  4. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    You may find some vertical heaving of the concrete patio sometime in the future if the roots find it is a favourable soil (moisture & nutrients) but unlikely to get any foundation damage because conifer roots aren't terribly invasive. The dry area under the eaves will discourage any significant root growth and the roots will never get to a size there that will cause damage. From a different perspective though...the redwood is already 75' tall & 6' diameter. It's relative growth (% of the total tree) each year is declining & at that size, if it's not causing you problems now, it probably won't for the remainder of the time you intend to live in the house.

    I'm not a fan of root pruning. It will affect both the stability & vigour of the tree & the concrete patio will be cheaper to fix than loosing the Redwood. I have a 115 year old Silver maple (shallow invasive roots) growing 10' from my house of similar age...no foundation damage yet & I'm not expecting any at this time.

    Simon
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes: modify the paving instead of the tree.
     
  6. cupertinowoods

    cupertinowoods Member

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    Thanks to you all for posting excellent suggestions. I need to give a serious thinking and will come back for other valuable advise.

    Cheers
     
  7. kalmia

    kalmia Active Member

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    How far is the tree from the house? and how deep is your foundation? Do you haver a basement? I'm guessing that foundations don't have to be very deep in Cupertino.
     
  8. cupertinowoods

    cupertinowoods Member

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    Hello Kalmia,

    The tree from the house is about 20 feet. The largest root is 10 feet from the tree. The other roots are about 3 to 4 feet in lenght. I am only mentioning the roots that are visible to me not knowing the root crawls deep under the soil.

    Foundation is about 4 feet deep (crawl space is 2 feet). The concrete patio is about
    5 feet away from the house.

    Thanks.
     
  9. cupertinowoods

    cupertinowoods Member

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    Hello Smivies,

    I don't see that the roots have caused any damage to the patio or the building. I noticed that the largest and the longest roots has an estimated diameter of ~10" with many humps above the soil level. The lawn close to it never survived (learn't the cause from my gardener).

    Thanks
     
  10. cupertinowoods

    cupertinowoods Member

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    Hello jimmyq,

    Very interesting web site. I will check into this and get some quotes.

    Thanks
     
  11. kalmia

    kalmia Active Member

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    20 feet is pretty close for a tree like a coast redwood, but if your patio is concrete, then it probably isn't going to get very moist under there and there is not much risk of damage from roots. Also, a poured concrete foundation is less likely to be damaged by roots than a hollow block or brick foundation.

    I don't think there is much to worry about, but if it makes you feel better, you could trench between the house and the tree and put in a root barrier. Try to stay as far from the treee as possible to avoid damaging the roots.

    If it were up to me, I wouldn't get rid of a tree like that for sake of reducing the chances of patio damage in the future. If it does break up years from now, then tear it up and replace it with something else that works better there.
     

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