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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default River Birch Roots Taking Over

    We have 2 large river birch trees in our backyard. The roots are coming to the surface and beginning to take over the yard. It is killing the grass in areas and we are afraid the roots are going to spread under the house and driveway and cause problems. What can we do to get our yard back and keep the trees. We really like them. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    Nothing. Addig soil to smooth things out helps but only a temp help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    So the long term solution would be to remove the trees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    Become one with the roots. These are pretty trees, perhaps a large planter and some mulch or just mulch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    Yes Remove the trees. If you replant consult with your local nurseryman or arborist to make sure the trees you replant don't shade out the grass or have roots that come to the surface. Mountain Ash is a nice species with tiny leaves that don't have to be raked, light shade so grass can grow and a nice specimen tree.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    These are beautiful trees and we would like to keep them, however they are about 40 feet tall now and some of the roots are out of the ground nearly a foot high and starting to spread everywhere. Our daughter trips on them when she's out there. Not to mention our grass is starting to be replaced with dirt spots with tiny roots from the tree.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    Any other possible solutions?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    I just finished a quick on line check on river birch and it looks like it would be best to remove the trees. Though beautiful they pose danger to your house--a strong storm and shallow roots could wreck havoc to your roof. Roots spread out up to 3 times the diameter of the tree thus threatening yours and your neighbors driveways and sidewalks. Not sure what it would do to your house foundation. But it's a decision that maybe a local arborist could help you make.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    If we just cut the exposed roots will it kill the entire tree. It's pushing up our patio slab.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,146

    Default Re: River Birch Roots Taking Over

    Quote Originally Posted by Sprescott View Post
    If we just cut the exposed roots will it kill the entire tree. It's pushing up our patio slab.
    Depends on the tree, surface roots are generally caused by surface water, such as daily/weekly watering of lawns. Topical watering draws tree roots to the surface, whereas deep watering promotes tree roots to go deeper and fend for their own water.

    Know that cutting roots at the edge of your patio will only stop what is under the patio already, it won't stop the root from regrowing, nor will it stop other roots from traveling under the patio and causing damage. Worse still, is that trees too close to the house can cause foundation issues too, so if the tree is already causing serious damage, it's time to take it out, eradicate the root system, and plant something that won't be invasive or damaging to the home.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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