willow roots length

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by brenda, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. brenda

    brenda Member

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    i have a willow tree that is approximately 24 " across a surveyer asked if i knew how far the roots would go
    i have no idea !
    i don't know how old it is either
    anyone have any clue how long the roots would be on a tree with a trunk 24" across?
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    According to Cutler & Richardson, Tree Roots and Buildings (Longman Scientific & Technical, 1989), the roots on a large willow can extend up to 40 metres from the tree.
     
  3. brenda

    brenda Member

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    wow
    much longer than i thought
    thanks for the quick reply
     
  4. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Yes but... they go down as well as out, and in my experience it doesn't bother the tree to damage the roots a little. Why does the surveyor want to know?
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    They only go down a metre or so, or two metres at most, and that is with willow being deeper-rooted than most trees. As with all trees, the vast majority (90%+) of the roots are within 50cm of the surface.
     
  6. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I agree they won't go down forty metres, but you can take it from me that they'll go down as far as they need to to reach the sewer line. And I'm talking the municipal sewer, not our line, so we're talking some 2 metres or more.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I wouldn't count on being able to damage roots of a tree without consequences. Willows in particular are apt to decline rapidly and break up or blow over as it is.
     
  8. brenda

    brenda Member

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    something to do with shrinkable soil around the foundation and getting a mortgage ok'd
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The tree roots dry out the clay in the soil and cause it to shrink. This can leave foundations unsupported, leading to subsidence damage to buildings, if the building foundations are not deep enough to get below the tree's roots. The mortgage may not be OK'd until any potential tree root issues have been dealt with.
     
  10. brenda

    brenda Member

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    so even if the tree is cut down,the roots can still cause problems,the roots will die if the tree is cut down yes?
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Willow roots stay alive when the tree is cut, and send up lots of stump sprouts which re-grow into new trees. So the roots can still cause problems. The problems are reduced for a few years after cutting though, as the amount of water they remove from the soil depends on the leaf area they are supplying.

    If you want to be rid of a willow altogether, you need to treat the stump with herbicides.
     
  12. brenda

    brenda Member

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    thanks for all the replies !

    you have answered all my questions
     

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