Tree in line with wood fence

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Old 04-07-08, 11:41 AM
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Tree in line with wood fence

I am installing a 5' cedar picket fence and in line with the fence is a white pine. I plan on getting posts as close as possible on each side of the tree and then cantilever the rails to meet the tree. Questions:

Does anybody know what the maximum cantilever could be, or does it depend on how long the rail boards are? For example, on one side of the tree, the closest I could get a post without hitting mid-sized roots is ~7 ft. The next post in line from that one is then 8 ft away. If I get a 2x4x16 (or even a 2x6x16?) and then cantilever 7', will that sag? Any ideas how I can support it with a dummy post near the tree?

The root that is in the way is roughly 1.5" diam. and is about 4 inches below the surface. Unfortunately, it runs in the direction of the fence line. The tree is at least 15 years old, with a 11-12 in. diameter trunk. Will cutting a root like that cause damage?

Alternatively, I can place a post outside the fence line and add blocks to the post to have the rails meet the post. It wouldn't look very pretty, which is why I'm searching for alternatives.

Thanks,
Brian
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:22 PM
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Hi Brian,

If the tree is only 15 years old, it may well continue to grow for another hundred years. Eventually, reaching 80 feet tall or better. That root, that is now an inch and a half will be much larger as time goes on. Other roots may rise, as well. The girth of the tree will increase, too, so placing posts "as close to the tree as you can" will not be too wise.

I think any method that you choose to build your fence, now, will not be permanent. Mother Nature will redesign whatever you build

Connie
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:50 PM
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1) Bring your top rail to ~2" from the tree trunk. Temporarily brace it in position.

2) Screw a large eyehook into the bottom of this rail, ~4" inches back from the end.

3) Drive a lag screw (~10") through the eye, into the tree. Leave some play between the hook and screw head so that the tree and fence may shift independently, in line with the fence. The top rail should now be secure, and you can pull the braces out.

4) Hang the bottom rail to correct height by tacking on a fence board. Add another hook and screw to bottom rail.


The last board might be trimmed to almost fit the tree. You'll have to remove this board someday, and trim off a bit of fence rail. Also will want to occasionally turn the lag screw out as the tree growth buries it.

If you have a long span sagging, mitre cut a 2x4 so that its lower end fits the bottom post just above the bottom rail, and the upper end supports about halfway along the top rail. This goes on the fence's "ugly side" needless to say. But smart engineering never looks bad, to my eye.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 04:52 PM
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Fence

If you want a post closer to the tree, cut the root.
 
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Old 04-08-08, 01:38 AM
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Ha Ha, Ken You think Kobuchi and I talk too much, yes?
 
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Old 04-08-08, 05:00 AM
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Fence

All your suggestions are good. I especially like Kobuchi's idea with the long lag screws.
I was simply trying to address the OP's question about the tree root. Too much detail can sometimes be confusing. Have a nice day.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
If you want a post closer to the tree, cut the root.
If you cut the root, you might kill the tree. Damage like that to a major tree root can cause a slow (as in years) death for a tree.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 10:10 PM
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Here's an older thread that explains how to incorporate the tree into the fence line without penetrating the tree. It is never a good idea to put nails, screws, or bolts into trees because it may open up a tree to disease and insect pests.

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=165995
 
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Old 05-09-08, 08:35 AM
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Box the tree out of the line .

Why keep the fence going directly into the side of the tree? You can just as easily find a new place to dig in front of the tree... Then you can box the tree out...
Or if you like you can stop before the tree on both sides. Without leaving a gap that would look ugly to most folks you can very easily dream up a landscaping idea with a smaller spaced picket fence around the front of the tree.... flowers and bushes at the base of the tree and you will have an artsy type of landscaping look to your front or rear yard.

If you do something to get that fence around that tree and you do not do a good job it will haunt you every morning you look out your window. If you box around it with a smaller, spaced picket fence putting plantings of all colors behind it , you will have a view worth looking at every morning before leaving for work.
Be colorful and use your imagination.. I am sure you will see it as clear as I do .

Greg ~
 
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