Thick roots under gravel in garden - Advice please.

Sorry, but not sure if this sort of issue is for Gardeners' World but don't know who to ask (please tell me if anyone knows who I can get advice from).  I have recently bought a house and discovered thick roots under the gravel stones, very close to the surface, in the garden (they are just after the awful circular paving towards the bottom).  We own the 1st medium shrub to the right & the rest is growing from the car park area next through our fence, owned by the residential management company & they have a hedgerow not far from the back of our fence (can just see the top on the photo but not sure what type it is) & there are trees fairly close by as you can see (not sure what type).  They said it would be too difficult to know where they are coming from so not their responsibility. My question is, can roots (about 2.5 cm thick) grow from shrubs this size? My guess is they are from the trees to the back of the property or the hedge but not sure what type and have no photos, but can see the top of them both from the photo.   I plan to get rid of the gravel and pave the area but one part of them is really protruding. Can I just pave over the top of them (if I can flatten them down) or should I just saw them off (don't want to kill any tree). Is it possible to know from the root where it can be coming from? (may be a silly question) Thank you for any help you can give.


Posts

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 847
    If you trace it back to your property boundary (from thin to thicker) that should give you a clue about where it comes from. It may be left over from a tree which has since been removed but in any case you can just cut it and remove it. You will probably find that it has travelled a fair distance under the membrane and gravel.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 3,095
    edited 10 February
    From that photo it is hard to tell what is growing behind your fence, but it's very likely from all those shrubs that have got past the fencing could be Cotoneaster, a common shrub used for boundaries of carparks. Your own shrub, a Euonymus Fortunei can be pruned back, re-shaped or even trained to cover your fence.

    You may need to dig down around your boundary and putting in a hard boundary like old roof tiles deep into the soil to stop the plants' roots getting through, but the other aged roots, could be from shrubs and trees a bit further away, and that is common from being next to so many shrubs and trees. Cutting through them will not kill trees or shrubs, so do not worry about that.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 4,442
    Agree that the shrub coming through from the car park looks like cotoneaster. If you can rake the gravel off and lift the membrane (which may well disintegrate),  you will have a better idea where the roots are coming from. As others have said, cutting through them is fine. The euonymus (brightly coloured shrub) looks healthy, are you planning on keeping it ? Don't worry about asking questions,  there is usually someone on here who knows the answer  :)
  • steephill said:
    If you trace it back to your property boundary (from thin to thicker) that should give you a clue about where it comes from. It may be left over from a tree which has since been removed but in any case you can just cut it and remove it. You will probably find that it has travelled a fair distance under the membrane and gravel.
    Thank you, I'll do that.
  • AnniD said:
    Agree that the shrub coming through from the car park looks like cotoneaster. If you can rake the gravel off and lift the membrane (which may well disintegrate),  you will have a better idea where the roots are coming from. As others have said, cutting through them is fine. The euonymus (brightly coloured shrub) looks healthy, are you planning on keeping it ? Don't worry about asking questions,  there is usually someone on here who knows the answer  :)
    Thank you, AnniD,  I'll do that.   Yes, I like the euonymus and will just get a few more shrubs.  We aren't living there but my daughter is so just want it nice enough to sell in a few more years.  There's just a thin border but would prefer it with more shape and larger so will probably have to buy some soil as there doesn't seem to be much.
  • From that photo it is hard to tell what is growing behind your fence, but it's very likely from all those shrubs that have got past the fencing could be Cotoneaster, a common shrub used for boundaries of carparks. Your own shrub, a Euonymus Fortunei can be pruned back, re-shaped or even trained to cover your fence.

    You may need to dig down around your boundary and putting in a hard boundary like old roof tiles deep into the soil to stop the plants' roots getting through, but the other aged roots, could be from shrubs and trees a bit further away, and that is common from being next to so many shrubs and trees. Cutting through them will not kill trees or shrubs, so do not worry about that.
    Thank you Borderline.  Yes, good idea about training it to cover fence. I might do that as the fence looks in a bad state.  Not sure about putting in a hard boundary (although a good idea). I can't face digging no more and probably won't pay for someone to do it.  Glad you said cutting them won't kill anything as I hate to do that. 
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