Should I cut roots of this maple?

Discussion in 'Garden and Lawncare' started by ilyaz, May 25, 2018.

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  1. May 25, 2018 #1

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

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    We have a huge maple tree in front of our house in the city right of way between the road and the sidewalk. It's a beautiful tree but its roots are all over my front yard making mowing the lawn more difficult. They might also be contributing to the roots in my sewer pipe that has to be snaked out every couple of years.

    If I cut these roots along the edge of the sidewalk (and then remove them from my front yard), how likely is it that this will damage the tree to the extent that it might one day fall? That is, the tree might fall one day regardless or it might stand healthy and tall for another 100 years, but is it likely that I will severely damage the tree by cutting off those pesky roots?
     

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  2. May 25, 2018 #2

    nealtw

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    The tree is on city property????
     
  3. May 25, 2018 #3

    joecaption

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    I'd just set my blade height higher.
    Most people cut there grass to short anyway.
     
  4. May 25, 2018 #4

    ilyaz

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    Yes. The city plants trees between the sidewalk and the road. Most of the time they plant cherry which is fine, but someone years ago had a "bright" idea to plant a whole bunch of maples including the one in front of my house.
     
  5. May 25, 2018 #5

    ilyaz

    ilyaz

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    It's already at its highest setting.
     
  6. May 25, 2018 #6

    slownsteady

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    You could damage the tree by cutting the roots. Besides supplying food, it also anchors the tree....two good reasons to leave them be. You could add dirt to the lawn. If you do it slowly enough - over the course of weeks - you might not even kill your grass.
     
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  7. May 25, 2018 #7

    tuffy

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    You might want to be careful cutting those roots on city owned property my neighbor did this and had to go to court for damaging city property . ended up getting fined 10,000 + had to pay for the city to have the tree cut down as they were now worried that the tree wood fall during high winds. so go and have a talk with your city leaders before you do any thing.
     
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  8. May 25, 2018 #8

    ilyaz

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    I would be cutting on my property not city's, but I see your point
     
  9. May 25, 2018 #9

    jeffmattero76

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    A maple is a surface rooted tree, and should never have been planted in that area. It will raise the sidewalk, and, as you have described, send surface roots to the surrounding area.

    I would suggest going and asking the city to remove the tree, and plant a taproot ed tree like an oak, or Bradford pear, or many other choices. Assuming that your house is within 100 feet of the street, I would also suggest a much smaller tree than an oak or maple etc. Those are known as "understory trees".
     
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  10. Jun 1, 2018 #10

    ilyaz

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    I am not sure what argument I would use to convince the city to remove it.

    Our neighbor had a maple in front of their house too. During a storm, a large branch landed on the roof of their car parked underneath. They called the city and told them that the next time it happens their insurance may not cover the damage in which case they will sue the city. Supposedly after that the city agreed to remove the tree.

    Maybe I can say something similar.
     
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  11. Jun 2, 2018 #11

    slownsteady

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    You may get lucky if you simply appeal to their logic. The maple is creating a hazard as it is a shallow rooted tree.
     
  12. Jun 2, 2018 #12

    JoeD

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    I would cut the roots.
     
  13. Jun 3, 2018 #13

    mrlarsen

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    I had a large, healthy, beautiful red maple in my backyard. Lots of surface roots that extended over 30 feet from the tree. I also had a standing water problem that needed to be fixed, so I lowered the dirt level of the backyard which required removing some of the tree roots. Maybe 25% of the tree root area was affected. The yard project took all summer but all during the project the tree remained healthy. Then one day the green leaves at the top turned yellow, followed by the whole tree. It took a week for the whole tree to go yellow. 2 weeks later all the leaves were on the ground - dead tree.
     
  14. Jun 4, 2018 #14

    rokosz

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    I've never seen (a US) case law which says you can't cut what ventures over your property line (roots or branches) -- but if you kill the tree (instantly or by infection) beware. Seems like every neighbor in existence thinks you can't cut their tree on your side of the line. That's emotional -- not law. As an aside you can inform a neighbor that their dead/sick tree near your line is a nuisance waiting to happen...

    the earlier post about insurance: talk to your agent they might have some ideas Why wait for a branch to fall (another notorious maple quality). Maybe the agent will provide a letter.
    How's the sidewalk now? is it heaving? Also a liability (for someone). Are you responsible for the walk?
    a mature maple will never allow a (quality) lawn under it. if you add soil the roots will just grow up into it and starve the grass. you could try some ground cover (pachy, ajuga etc.)
     
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