Stopping Tree Roots

Old 09-20-19, 11:28 AM
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Stopping Tree Roots


Adjacent to my property are a couple of large pine trees about 15' from my fence. It is property managed by the association near a parking lot so I have access. The roots these trees send into my garden just kill any smaller plants by creating a fine, dense network of roots that grab every drop of water. There is irrigation for those trees but they still seem to need more from my yard.

Several times I have gone to the other side of my fence line and dug a trench along my fence line cutting all roots. This usually seems to work but if I miss even a few they seem to recover very quickly. When I replaced the fence I even put a cement footer under the fence line but this was pointless because they just went under (was only able to go about 6" deep).

I will dig the trench again, cutting roots. The topsoil is very shallow. I actually bought some 18" root barrier plastic for other areas and it works well assuming the roots cannot make it under. It seems that best approach is to dig deeper than root barrier depth, put down gravel which may help prevent roots from burrowing below the barrier and then of course barrier on top of that. From what i see the roots are very shallow, not more than 8" or so.

From what I can tell any chemical methods will also kill the tree so I don't want to do that.

Anyone deal with this type of issue? I can't do any digging or prevention on my side because I have a 12" raised bed all along the fence.
Old 09-20-19, 11:33 AM
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I think installing a barrier is your best bet, the deeper and thicker the barrier is the better.
Old 09-21-19, 03:27 AM
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Look at barrier material for containing bamboo. It's a very heavy duty plastic that you bury in the ground to block roots. When you bury it leave the top an inch or two above ground. You want it above ground so you can see any roots that try going over the top but don't make it so high you hit it when mowing.
Old 10-09-19, 02:40 AM
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Copper sulfate works if you don't have other plants too close. Do some research and see if you think it will work for you
Old 10-09-19, 04:49 AM
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Sorry, this doesn't make sense!

I have close to 50 pine and Spruce trees on my 2 acre property that vary in height from 6-40' with intertwining/adjacent beds/gardens with all types of annual and perennial plants that are within feet of the tree drip lines.

Have never had any issue where the roots from any of these trees ever creating a water starvation issue.

Are the roots there, sure but not in any form of mass that causes issues with the adjoining plants.

I would say you have something else going on, do you keep all your plants covered with a thick covering of mulch, that is an essential element to keep water in the ground .

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