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Holly tree roots damaging brick paver driveway.

Holly tree roots damaging brick paver driveway.

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  #1  
Old 01-05-15, 04:15 PM
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Holly tree roots damaging brick paver driveway.

I have a problem with two holly trees located between my and my neighbor's brick paver driveways. The tree roots are pushing the bricks up. The damage is minor, but I want to take care of the problem now before it becomes a much bigger one. One holly tree is about 25 to 30 feet high, and the other is about 15 or 16 feet high. I live in a townhouse and the neighboring unit's driveway is a little more than 3 feet from mine. The two trees sit in between our driveways.

I imagine that if I remove the trees, getting the stumps out will do major damage to the driveway. As an alternative, I've been wondering if I can stop the roots from growing much more by trimming the branches and keeping them trimmed so that the trees stay relatively small in height. Would that work?

Also, I was told that problems caused by invasive roots can be stopped by trimming the roots and putting in a barrier to prevent them from growing under the driveway. I wonder if this would work in my situation since the roots would have to be trimmed very close to the tree. Would this kill the tree or make it unstable?

Thanks for any input on the above or any alternatives you can think of.

Jim
 
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  #2  
Old 01-05-15, 04:37 PM
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I've found tree roots over two times the canopies distance away. Possibly having kept the trees pruned and smaller initially would have helped but their roots are already under the driveways. Pruning the tree won't make it suddenly abandon it's roots.

A tree of a certain size needs a certain amount of roots. If you did trench and install a barrier you have to consider where the tree will get the water and nutrients it needs. With only a 3ft wide strip between driveways I don't see how you've got any room to work with. Cutting off that much of the roots would cause trouble. If it didn't kill or severely weaken the tree outright I'd hate to see the tree topple over in a hurricane since you cut 3/4 of its roots.

I think cutting down the trees is really the only option. Immediately after the tree hits the ground paint the stump with glyphosate concentrate (Roundup, Honcho, Glyfos...) and paint it over the next 5 minutes as fast as the stump takes in the herbicide. This will kill the roots and prevent suckers from growing. Because of the proximity of the driveways I would have the stumps ground down below grade so you can plant grass.
 
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Old 01-05-15, 07:43 PM
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Thanks Pilot Dane. I suspected that I would need to cut the trees down. I think that I'll probably hire a contractor to do the job for at least the taller tree. The contractor should have the glyphosate concentrate, right? If I do the smaller tree myself, where could I get the concentrate? Could I just buy a regular bottle of Roundup or do I need something else?

Thanks again for your input!
 
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Old 01-06-15, 06:34 AM
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Holly's are not bad for suckers but it's cheap and easy to treat them when cut down so it's a preventive measure. The concentrate is available from most home centers. You want the stuff that requires you to mix like 2oz of the concentrate to a gallon of water. The concentrate allows you to get much more of the active chemical into the stump than if you use the diluted ready-to-use stuff.
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-15, 08:23 AM
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Sorry, not a fan of cutting trees down arbitrarily but either these two have to go or your driveways do so it's too bad for the trees
 
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Old 01-06-15, 01:22 PM
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Pilot Dane,
So it sounds like I need to apply the concentrate without diluting it. Is that right?


Mitch 17,
They're nice trees so I'm not happy about cutting them down. The builder planted them. The builder also planted a magnolia tree very close to my unit and it appears to be lifting up some pavers at the entrance to my front door. I'll probably be posting a question about it a little later on.
 
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Old 01-06-15, 01:28 PM
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Yeah, trees that are small seem innocent and get put close to things. Years to decades later you have to remove them because they're too close to the house or driveway or sidewalk or something and causing problems.
 
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Old 01-06-15, 01:56 PM
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Yes, paint the freshly cut stump with the concentrate syrup.

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I watched one of those crash shows on HGTV where they were re-doing someone's front yard. The host just finished saying how this Southern Magnolia would get to be 60 or more feet tall and 30+ feet in diameter... Then they planted it right at the corner of the house. I assume because it made good "show" for the program and I'm certain it will look nice for a couple years. I'd love to see the follow up show 20 years from now tackling the foundation problems.
 
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Old 01-06-15, 08:42 PM
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The builder planted a lot of magnolias. Some of them are planted between the driveways just like the holly trees are planted by my driveway. The magnolias have gotten pretty big, but I haven't noticed any damage to the driveways so far. On the other hand, I've noticed that some holly trees are damaging some of my neighbor's driveways just like mine.

I talked to one of the homeowner association officers about both types of trees and he said that the magnolias have less invasive roots. I don't know what kind of magnolias they are. Maybe some are worse than others. I'm pretty sure though that one magnolia is doing some damage to my brick paver walkway.
 
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