Tree Advice Landscapers

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Rollacosta, May 20, 2004.

  1. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    just wondering how many of you guys get some advice from a certified arborist before you start a landscapeing project ,where there are trees in the imediate vicinity

    this week a landscaper friend of mine unintentionaly severed through some roots of a large oak ..the home owner knowing more about trees than my landscaper friend whent absoloutly mad [he could end up in court]

    roots are vital to a trees health without them they die period!!

    also he has made the tree potentioly if not definatly a hazard /unstable,this tree has had its roots cut and it could now blow over in a storm and hit the house!!..roots hold the tree up!!!
    also the tree will be an exspensive removal job

    anyway regardless of a trees size all you landscape guys should get some advice before you start excavating around tree roots.or even get some help during the design stage

    its no good saying when your up in court we dont know anything about trees ..the judge will say well why didnt you get some advice!!! there are consulting arborists out there who spend all there time on legal cases involving you guys know people are very quick to prosecute

    also always remember most tree roots are in the top 600mm even on the biggest tree..and the closer to the tree you cut the roots the more damage your doing

    JUST TRYING TO HELP A LITTLE GUYS ANY PROBS GIVE US GUYS ON A LOOK..better still get friendly with your local certified arborist

    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203


    It'd be nice to see more developers bringing in a consulting arborist BEFORE they wreck everything.

    Alas, by the time we get called, it's usually terminal.

    Sucks, don't it?
  3. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    hi Erik nice too see a familier face on here...yeah it would be nice to get a look before the damage is irepairable
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I've taken a few arboriculture classes in the past, and even though I don't do much tree work, it is helpful to know a bit. Definitely has kept me out of trouble a few times.
  5. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    the trouble nowadays AL-Inc acccidents dont just happen someone is always to blame ..the large oak my pal cut through could cost him $1000 to remove it before it becomes a hazzard another $500+ to replace it with a smaller tree and a lot of $$s in compensation as the new tree will only be a tenth of the size the old tree is.. but i could be worse it could have blown over and killed somebody he could have been up for a manslaughter charge..nice to see you take your job seriously al inc
  6. roadhawg3

    roadhawg3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Hey, I will be roto tilling around some large trees to install sod, but now I will definetly keep a good distance from the roots! I am wondering how this fella cut this root, as tough as they are? was he digging a post hole? auger? chain saw?
  7. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Don't forget trees live on moisture and nutrients supplied by tiny hair roots smaller than a needle. Cut too many of those and you cut off the life flow of the tree. It is best not to disturb any roots at least to the dripline. Most trees have feeder roots outside the dripline equal to 50% of the distance between the trunk and the dripline. Example...distance from trunk to dripline is 10 feet...roots will be growing 15 feet from the trunk or 5 feet outside the dripline. If you have ever seen air spading done you know how true the above statement can be. Also tree roots can be as shallow as an inch or two from the surface if they are not covered with grass, so tread lightly and be careful what you plant under a tree you want to preserve. Neal
  8. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    When you say "cut a few roots", how much did he cut? I cut some roots on a lot of jobs. Doesnt help the tree for sure, but in most cases, doesnt hurt it much either. I can see that cutting most of the main roots on one side of a big tree can make it unstable, and damaging a large portion of the feeder roots all around a tree hurting it, but I dont see cutting a few roots doing much. Heck, look at whats cut when a tree is moved. This puts the tree in stress I know, but it an extreme case of root cutting just to make an example.

    This is not to say that I just tear up roots at will, but I do not worry about a few. As in pruning branches, they replace them if done judiciously.

    This brings up a good discussion, for you arborists out there, what is your opinions on this?


    TREEGODFATHER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Cutting none is ideal, but hard to accomplish. Realistically, just try to keep it to a minimum. By that, I mean stay outside the dripline at the least.

    In the case of installing mulch, obviously some are going to get cut. Since you're only removing the top few inches of the soil, this isn't too bad- you're also eliminating competeing vegetation, and the tree will be better for it in the long run.

    Rolla- I don't get over here too often, but I do try. Others have learned from me, and I've learned more than you'd think considering the few parallels between an LCO and an TCO.

    To all: My email is checked daily, and it's fun to help out.
  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If I need to plant anything under a tree, usually I try to use as small of material as possible, for instance, use quarts instead of gallons for perennials, and smaller cans for shrubs.

    I usually also recommend to the client adding some compost over the existing grade too, but it is thoroughly composted stuff. And 3" or less. Not enough to kill the tree, but enough to help get the other plants established and avoid cutting tree roots. In our clay based soils, it also would help to improve the soil to a degree.

    I try to express my concerns from the get-go when it comes to trees, and if the tree appears to be in any sort of stress at the time, I probably wouldn't do anything as far as planting underneath.

    Fortunately, I haven't had to do too much with planting under large existing trees. Mostly it's just been mulching them!


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