Removal of above ground roots

Old 07-02-14, 12:12 PM
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Removal of above ground roots

I have a spot in my garage where water is seeping up through the cement during heavy rain. I read that I should put a french drain around the garage. In order to put any type of drain, deep shoveling would have to be done. Around the garage are a vary large area of above ground roots. The nearest tree is over 6' away and another near tree was just cut down. I read that putting mulch over the roots would smother them and kill the roots. Would this be an acceptable way to remove the roots so deep shoveling could be done?

Old 07-02-14, 12:33 PM
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If you are willing to wait many years, it might work. If you want to get it done, an ax and a reciprocating saw with a bunch of demo or pruning blades will make pretty short work of roots.

If this is a living tree, you need to minimize the damage or you'll kill it. Even then you need to probably give it extra care to get through the stress.
Old 07-02-14, 04:23 PM
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Mulch kill roots? That's a new one on me. Mulch is very commonly recommended in planting areas so I don't know how it's going to kill tree roots. If the work has to be done I'd just start digging and try to minimise damage to the living tree's roots.

Hand digging can certainly be done and it has been done for thousands of years. Just be ready for a real workout. A compact excavator can work right up to the foundation. Renting one yourself can be fun although I doubt you'll save any money since you'll be paying for your learning curve but they they can be fun to operate. Another option is to hire someone to come in and do the excavating for you. An experienced operator can make quick work of the trenching while minimizing the chance of a newbie machine operator damaging the garage.

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