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Old 11-08-2007, 12:11 PM
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joallen001 joallen001 is offline
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What Would You Do?!?

Any suggestions or pictures as to how you guys would landscape around these trees?
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:45 PM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is online now
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Oh. My. God.

Well, before you put any time into designing around those trees, get an arborist out to tell you how many will be dead by this time next year.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:38 PM
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Then call the builder and tell him what a dumb a$$ he is for back filling over those trees. I swear, builders are so irrisponsible and to think we have to live in what they build. I'm with Papercutter. I would tell the customer to wait a year and see what these trees do, if they have the money, you could take out the back fill round the main root zone and put a retaining wall around each one. but that won't be cheap.
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:01 PM
PaperCutter PaperCutter is online now
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I'm a glass half-full kind of guy. On the bright side, if you cut the trees flush with the original grade, you'll have a good 12-18" of topsoil over the stump.

Seriously dude, that's a mess. Cover your butt (I'm assuming you're not responsible for that horrible backfill job). If it's a spec home, have the builder sign off that you're in no way respnsible for what's going to happen to those trees. If it was custom built for the homeowner, have them sign off. It's possible that if, like Southern said, you dig back to grade and put in walls they could be saved; but you'll need to work closely with an arborist because you'll probably tear up a bunch of feeder roots while digging back. And honestly, given the cost of doing all that, plus the likelihood of losing at least some of the trees? Drop the trees, pull the stumps, smooth the grade, and start from scratch. Bring in some nice 4" caliper shade trees to get a head start on growth, some nice ornamentals, and do it up right.

Something else I've noticed with custom homes where the builder leaves stands of trees here and there but clears out everything in between- a lot of times these trees have been sheltered from the wind by the other trees around them. Once they're by themselves, a decent winter storm can wipe them out. Last winter, a million dollar home around the corner had a tree fall on it- less than three months after it was done. Enjoy your "wooded lot"...
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:19 PM
freddyc freddyc is offline
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All I have to say is WOW!

The right solution is to remove all that fill till its flush with the top of the roots...looks like about 300 yards might do it...the only good news is that the house is above the tree level so when they die and fall they will probably miss the structure....too bad the builder wasn't standing slightly downhill of that!
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:58 PM
Focal Point Landscapes Focal Point Landscapes is offline
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Yeah , you gotta either regrade the slope or take the trees out.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:42 PM
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Kate Butler Kate Butler is offline
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And, it's likely to take longer than one year for 'em to die - more like up to 5 years, depending on the species of tree.
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Labour of Love Landscaping
NorthEast Kingdom, Vermont
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:53 AM
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lifetree lifetree is online now
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I agree with the others here ... those trees should be removed and landscaping planned from that perspective !!
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:02 AM
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What a disaster. They look like some nice looking oaks with lots of years left. What is the possibility of balling them to be raised or relocated guys and gals? I realize the cost would be huge but trees like that aren't cheap either.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:05 AM
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PlatinumLandCon PlatinumLandCon is offline
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As much as it sucks, I too think that the trees should be removed. The client looks like they've got some money so I'm sure they'll pay more for the right solution rather than dead (or possibly fallen like PaperCutter said) trees around their beautiful home.

I hate how the landscapers get shafted by builders. I know 3 people that are getting custom homes built (I'm doing the land clearing ) and I've specifically told them "DO NOT have the builder spec landscaping into the contract". I've seen builders tell the home owners that they've set aside $20k for landscaping then ask for a quote around $6-7k from a landscaper. They either go over budget or are squeezing the last bit of profit out of the job.

Good Luck with whatever happens.
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