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Removing established trees

We have two established pine trees behind the house, close to our garage and on a clay slope. (See photos) They put the greenhouse and a vegetable plot on the upper garden in the shade for a good part of the day, the roots are visible throughout the banking, and are lifting the paving stones at the foot of the banking.  (Not to mention the constant dumping of needles, cones, seedlings etc)  We plan to have them professionally removed, but I wonder about the stability of the banking once the roots begin to die.  We'd probably put in a retaining wall in the fullness of time, but how long might it be before the removal of the trees began to affect the banking?  .image

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Any thoughts welcome.

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Tree surgeon.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you.  As I said, we are planning to have them professionally removed.  I was looking for some general pointers and information for discussion when we get tree surgeons round to give us a quotation.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    Check they have insurance and also qualifications.   Horticultural colleges train people to use the correct equipment safely.  Don't want cowboys.

    Ask if they remove roots with a grinder or leave them in place to rot away.  It doesn't take long for pine roots to disintegrate but you may want to make sure they take away the central block at the base of the trunk which will take longer.

    Get at least two quotes if you can.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532

    Conifers don't sprout from the base when they're cut so you could leave the roots in the ground.  Another option would be to cut off the crowns and make a feature of the trunks by growing climbers up them, or having them sculpted, or attaching brackets for bird feeders or hanging baskets.  When I moved to this house, it had seven conifers in a row against the rear boundary.  I had them cut level with the six foot fence behind them, and planted seven different varieties of ivy against them.

    If you do cut them to ground level, you might need to give the cat a scratching post.

    Last edited: 07 October 2017 12:27:11

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    We did that with a row of 12 in our garden in Harrow but I stretched wires between to support climbers.  The stumps rotted very quickly but were useful to get a grip and wriggle lose the remaining roots just a year later.   Given that yours are alone on a slope, I'd get rid completely and then refresh the soil with well-rotted compost and/or manure and re-plant this autumn so the new stuff can get its roots down and hold the soil.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • That's useful stuff.  I didn't know they don't sprout again.  Thanks to you both.  Good ideas.  The cat has a scratching post in the conservatory but I have visions of her throwing herself at thin air, once the pines are gone, as she loves to leap about seven feet off the ground and hang on to the trunk like grim death before shimmying down. 

  • That soil is absolutely dreadful Obelixx.  I think the trees have leeched all the nature out of it.  It will be good to start again

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579

    We had two sick ash trees removed a few weeks ago.  Female kitty-cat most disgruntled but, fortunately, she has plenty of other options and her slightly younger playmate doesn't do trees after getting stuck in the walnut tree on his first outing after kitten jabs.  OH had to go up a ladder and rescue him.

    Last edited: 07 October 2017 13:24:29

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,418

    If the tree is being professionally removed, get them to remove the stump and as much of the major root growth as possible at the time.  Then fill the hole with soil, that should minimise any potential movement.

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