Is it Right or Wrong

Ok people this is a question of ethic's I have been instructed to sort out my sons newly brought garden Which is a labour of love Not reward !!! The latest problem I have encountered is one of tree roots laying just below the surface or often thru the soil and upon the surface. My intention is to dig up or pull up which ever and remove from the ground.

Alas I have noticed that several roots appear to be coming under the hedge from the neighbours gardens and hence their tree's !!!!!! Do I dig/chop/pull these roots up and remove ????? I expect the removal of them Could be deprimental to the well being of the tree's they come from

DO I DO IT ??? OR NOT ???



  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I wouldnt, but im a big softie and wouldnt like that to be done to one of my trees, why not chat to the neighbour image
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,220

    Talk to your sons neighbours. I had to stop a new neighbour from "trimming" the oak tree as he objected to the acorns falling. It has a preservation order on it. If you dont like oak trees don't buy a house with a 150 year old oak on the boundary.

    If the tree has a preservation order on you cannot do anything that will damage or harm the tree, and that includes trimming the roots.

    Some trees such as plums, will send up suckers if you damage the roots. you may have a bigger problem  then.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • DogbowlDogbowl Posts: 66

    I dont think there is likely to be anykind of presevation order on any of the stuff growing in either our garden or neighbours. The garden was a bit of a jungle prior to his purchase. The protential Damage roots can cause to footings & the likes are regularly heard of & the effect on lawn space with these roots stretching the lenght I have very little knowledge of . Other than they look grotesque & the likelyhood of someone injuring them selves on them is high.

    I await your comments / ideas

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,611

    Speaking as someone who has a garden totally under-laid with roots from large mature trees, I can assure you that if the trees are alive the roots will regrow and you will be removing them every year!  We dig a large number of small tree roots out of our veg patch every winter.  

    For the rest of the garden, we learn to garden with them.  Where there are roots near the surface we have a 'wild garden' with ferns and native plants and flowers, under planted with spring bulbs - like a little patch of woodland. 

    The trick is to look at what you've got before you decide what sort of garden you want image

    Unless you're removing roots that require the use of a saw or an axe I don't think you'll harm the tree - unless you remove a great many of them - but they will regrow.  Think of pruning a tree's branches - cutting them back just stimulates growth!

    However, it would be polite, politic and just good neighbourly to explain the problem and mention what you're doing to the neighbours image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I dont know where in the garden the offending roots are, is there any chance of a bench over them? image
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,616

    The big thick roots anchor the tree.  Damage those and you will get instability and a potentially damaging and costly tree fall in a storm.    The fine, fibrous ones feed and water the tree.   Reducing those will reduce the tree's vigour but only temporarily as they regrow quickly.   

    Having bought a garden with trees and neighbours it behooves you to work with, rather than against them, especially those belonging to neighbours.    For trees in your son's garden, get a tree surgeon to advise whether the whole tree or part of the tree or some of the roots can be safely removed and get them to do the job properly.   They and their work should be fully insured and guaranteed.  They can also advise you on whether or not the neighbours' trees are too close to buildings or drains and whether or not pruning or removal is advisable.   Don't do anything without advice and without checking tree preservation orders and local council policy on trees or you could find yourself with bigger problems down the line.    Don't do anything without first talking to your son's neighbours.   It's a basic courtesy and he will have to live with them for years so it's best to stay friendly.

    As Dove says, you can also use the trees as a design feature and make a shady woodland corner that future grandchildren will love to play in.    There are lots of plants that will thrive their and make it beautiful.   Have alook here for some ideas -  

    The Vendée, France
  • batannabatanna Posts: 26

    Ask local Council as to whether there is a TPO in effect & consult rree surgeon for specialist advice, perhaps include neightbour when tree surgeon arrives?

    Does anyone know the rights & wrongs of adding milk to compost heap?   I have several litres to dispose of.

    Thank you.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,616

    Milk in a compost heap?  It will stink to high heaven and attract rats and other vermin.

    The Vendée, France
  • DogbowlDogbowl Posts: 66


  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 701

    Dogbowl I go along with the advice on speaking to the neighbour and maybe having a tree surgeon examine the roots.  Reason being last year and this a neighbour and I had a lot of problems with roots from trees on either side of our garden fences.  One enormous gum tree was a nightmare as it caused ridges and had really nasty spikey bits popping up on both our lawns and beds.  The thickest roots nearest the tree were large and it seemed there is a law (this is in Scotland) about not sawing down branches, trees or roots where they had grown to 4" in diameter.  There was also some drainage consideration with hidden pipes under the ground so it was all a right pickle to trace where all the roots and bits were.  So had to have an expert take a look-see in case we did something which affected the drainage in particular.   Have a much smaller tree on the other neighbour side and apparently if we mess about with the roots on that, the tree would react in different ways which would cost a lot of money to rectify - other than have an expert remove the entire thing.

    I made a BIG mistake gaily sawing off the branches and visible roots of an elder blocking our window a few years ago as I wanted rid of it.  It made the house dark. As it temporarily went into shock reaction it attracted a swarm of black flies as the tree started to weaken and they were a nightmare to get rid of.  I was told to leave the roots well alone for a long time, something to do with poisoning the surrounding soil.  I just took the adviser at his word.  Four years down the line, it turns out he was right in this particular instance.  Nothing would grow within 6 feet of the blasted thing and as the roots wanted to keep growing, they initially came back fast and furious. The whole lot is gone now, but I ended up spending more time on it than I would have had I had someone in the know deal with it.  It was such a palaver that I started to get a bit wary of the old wives tales about it being the witches tree.

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