Landscaping projects are often on the list of renovations that most homeowners want to perform. These may entail laying down a new front lawn or installing a new water feature in the back yard. Regardless, before all this work can get underway any elements that remain from the existing landscape need to be attended to. Among these, there is sure to be one ore more sick or unwanted trees.
Sick trees can fall victim to insect infestation and fungal growth, so they are best-taken care of swiftly before any of the other aspects to your new yard begin to materialize. Homeowners can have various motivations for wanting to remove a live tree. Its roots may be damaging the home’s foundation by exerting excess stress on it or they may be simply dehydrating the underlying soil so that the structural integrity of the foundation is compromised.
Regardless, tree removal can be a complicated process that may take several days to complete without the use of specialized equipment. When homeowners get in touch with an arborist, they are often displeased to find that removing the tree’s roots comes as an extra cost. Roots can penetrate underground several feet, and can even come to wrap around piping and other underground obstructions. Extracting these roots can take a significant amount of digging which will need to be conducted with something like a backhoe. This type of machinery is expensive to operate and transport.
Before accepting bids on tree root removal work, you want to establish some clearly defined goals. Unless you have a good reason for wanting to remove the complete network of roots buried underground, the cost doesn’t really justify the service. Unless the roots have tapped a sewer line or similar, they can’t really do any harm by just remaining underground. The only roots that may come to bug you are those still penetrating out from the ground. Most tree removal contractors will get rid of these with a stump grinder if you opted for a stump removal service.
If you are confident in your abilities with powered gardening tools, you can significantly reduce the tree root removal cost by taking on the project yourself. If you have people to help you, some shovels may be enough to dig a shallow trench where the tree once was to gain access to the superficial roots. After a few swings of the ax, the roots should come right off. If you want to make the process easier for yourself and can allocate some time in the future to work on removing the roots, you should just let them be so they can start to rot. Moisture will help bring about decomposition as will nitrogen fertilizer. Leave the roots to start rotting for a few weeks and test the superficial ones for signs of rot. Once they have softened up to your liking, you can go ahead and complete the job. Evaluate your budget and the time you have available to you to accurately determine whether the cost of tree root removal makes financial sense.
Trees serve a multitude of purposes that extend far beyond aesthetics. Not only can they provide ample amounts of shade during periods of grueling heat, but they can also provide the homeowner with fresh produce, in addition to contributing to the overall oxygen supply. Although many of us appreciate a nice backyard landscape, we personally don’t do much to maintain ours besides regular watering. Despite common belief, trees require much more upkeep than this. They need to be pruned and monitored for disease as well as insect infestation.
Regardless of how well you may be taking care of the trees on your property, they may be secretly doing damage to your home if they are situated in a poor location. Inexperienced landscapers often make the mistake of situating trees near the house, where their roots can cause costly damage to the home’s foundation. Depending on how long ago the tree was planted, the damage can take years to manifest. But when it does, rest assured that you may be in for a costly roller coaster ride.
You can inspect your basement for common signs of root intrusion. If any of the walls are cracked or look like they have shifted, there very well may be a problem. Remember that a tree’s roots can grow to be many times taller than the tree itself, so although you may be tempted to rule out root intrusion as the reason for damage to certain areas, you may very well be making an incorrect assumption. Since roots are very absorbent, they can even cause damage without pushing against the foundation. By simply extracting the moisture from the soil that acts as the foundation’s base it can cause your home to shift. Signs of foundation damage will eventually manifest in your home’s floors and elsewhere.
If you have reason to believe that the tree in your yard is causing any of the aforementioned problems, have an expert come out to inspect the foundation. If he or she confirms that this is the issue, you will need to have an arborist perform a complete tree extraction unless the roots can be trimmed back without any adverse consequence to the health of the tree. The cost of tree removal can vary depending on the size of your tree and where you reside. However, root extraction is an elective service that can set you back an additional few hundred.
In some cases, it may be possible to contain the tree’s roots using what is known as a root barrier. This vinyl material is wrapped around the tree’s roots to hopefully keep them away from foundations and other obstructions. It is best used in conjunction with other methods that are known to prevent root growth in unwanted areas, such as soil poisoning. This is accomplished with copper sulfate which is a compound known to effectively ward off root growth. Soil poisoning will need to be conducted on a routine basis or else the problem may return. Furthermore, consider treating any areas that have underground piping as well.
A well designed and regularly groomed landscape can look spectacular and can act as a much-needed retreat for you and your family after a long week’s worth of school and work. One of the most essential elements to a beautiful landscape is trees, which add a dimension of style and balance to an outdoor space that is otherwise difficult to replicate.
Regardless, trees have a not-so-hidden agenda that can often interfere with your property’s existing infrastructure. This agenda consists of nothing more than survival. For this, the tree depends on its complex network of roots which are buried underground. These can be many times longer than the height of the tree and grow can grow about in all directions. Their main purpose is to uncover sources of water that the tree can use to sustain life. Little do most people know that tree roots often tap sewer lines to get access to their highly sought after source of life – water.
Root intrusion tends to occur near the pipe joints where small gaps may exist for them to get through. Once inside, they can cause blockages and even ruin the entire pipe if it is made of antiquated materials like clay. If the intrusion becomes severe enough, the line may begin to back up into your home. When a professional is called on-site, you may be surprised to learn of the extent of damage that your beloved tree has caused. More often than not, a tree will cause multiple blockages and leave the homeowner no choice but to replace the entire sewer line.
If you have any reason to believe that your piping has been affected by a tree on your property, have a plumber come out to assess the damage. Before getting any work done, you will need to decide what to do in order to prevent this from happening again. One of the options you have is opting for tree removal. An arborist will come in to cut the tree down, with specialized machinery if necessary, after which the stump and roots will be removed. The cost of having the tree removed is generally a function of its sheer size, which can complicate the removal and disposal process. If you have a limited budget, you can opt to cut the trunk yourself and reuse the wood for your fireplace. You will have to discuss this with the arborist, who will need to know your plans to avoid bringing along equipment like a wood chipper.
From there, you may wish to have a new tree planted in an alternate location. Ask the arborist about getting a root barrier installed. This vinyl barrier is designed to encase the tree’s roots so that unwanted intrusion is not a possibility. This is one of the many ways you can go about mitigating the problem. Some choose to treat the affected soil with copper sulfate, which is a compound that tree roots try to avoid. This is not a long term solution but when combined together with the root barrier can yield very good results.