Sorry looking lawn


Old 01-17-14, 05:20 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Florida
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Unhappy Sorry looking lawn

My Florida lawn is a mess and I have to do something about it. Besides the lack of grass, Iím having a problem with tree roots. (See pics) My neighbor has a huge 60 year old tree in his side yard that has roots that are rising up in my yard. (He had another tree about 10 feet that one that was similar in size. He had it removed about 3 years ago. - more roots) A couple of his roots are getting pretty close to my house. One has lifted a paver thatís 3 feet from the house. That root is about 4 inches in diameter. My guess is that it has made its way under the house. Damage?

Then thereís the tree in my front yard by the driveway. Thereís a picture of that too.

I know itís hard to see in these pictures but there are roots all over the place and Iím not sure how I go about getting a decent lawn in there. (Not to mention keeping my house in one piece.) I thought about adding about 5 inches of soil and then either sodding or seeding the lawn. $$$ The guy I talked to from a landscape place said that I needed a sprinkling system in first and suggested that he just come in with a back hoe and dig through the roots to install it. Wonít that do serious damage to my neighborís tree?

Iíd love to just go in there with an axe and have at the root thatís right up by the house.

Any suggestions to help me get a decent lawn here?
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Old 01-17-14, 05:57 AM
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You might want to research the legalities of it first but I'd consider digging down and cutting the big root that is in danger of getting under your house. Assuming like most fla houses, yours is on a slab you don't want to build up the yard - that could be disastrous when you get a lot of rain. Would using a rototiller deal with the small roots well enough to let grass grow? I'd consider a big mulch bed around the base of the tree in your front yard.
Old 01-17-14, 06:15 AM
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Thanks for replying marksr - I was thinking about the mulch thing around the tree in my front yard. That could look pretty good if I work the shape of it and pick out a good border.

The smaller roots are still about 2" in diameter. I'm not sure if a rototiller could go through that. I have no experince in that whatsoever. Maybe I need to check with a certified arborist to see how everything would be affected.

I'll have to figure out where to check on the legal thing. I wondered about that myself. I'd hate to be responsible for my neighbor's tree dying. Besides it shades the house really well in the summer.
Old 01-20-14, 10:00 AM
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We call it root pruning and as long as you stay on your property I see now liability in protecting your home and pruning the roots. Rent a trencher and set it about 24" deep. An irrigation system certainly would help. Around here it is very difficult to water properly to sustain a dense lawn without one. J.M.O.
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