Tree roots pushing up metal edging....

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by TerraScapesMT, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. TerraScapesMT

    TerraScapesMT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    On one of my client's properties, there is metal edging around beds. The tree roots are growing very shallow in a few places and are causing the metal edging to pop up out of the ground.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to fix this? Would grinding out the roots kill the trees? If I did grind the roots out, would the just grow back in a few years?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Its kind of a matter about how many roots we're talking about. I do not know the actual science behind it but I know there's a certain type of root that is OK to cut but only in a certain percentage of the over-all tree's size.

    I see trees next to road work that get their roots all kind of mangled survive after the road construction is over. But I've seen trees die with just a little bit of damage to the roots.

    No matter what you do you'll need to do something with those roots. I'd just take an Axe and cut out enough root on either side of the edging to push it back into the ground.

    I'd think that the farther away from the trunk the root is the better it would be to remove it.

    Or if you're worried about harming the tree bring in dirt to bring the dirt up to the level of the edging.
  3. TerraScapesMT

    TerraScapesMT LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Went by and took a few pictures today. Could I pull up the edging and use a stump grinder to grind the roots down a few inches?




  4. Toy2

    Toy2 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,924

    Get a saw-zal and mark where the metal edging goes, cut down both sides of the root and set your metal down, or take out a section that is in your way........I've done both to a Live issues....

    Get a cheap HF saw, and a good blade....good luck..
  5. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Try to sell them on new edging, all together. That is looking pretty sad.

    Good Luck!
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I agree with the new edging. That would make it look nicer.

    Also, you might want to redesign the beds. Push the bed edges out farther away from the trees and incorporate the exposed roots into the beds.
  7. ExtExc

    ExtExc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    what he said.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Do NOT cut any roots out of the tree!!!! this is absolutely the WORST thing you could possibly do! These roots are crucial to the trees life. The top roots are those that end up being the anchors for the tree as it matures. They extend out and provide the trees lateral stability. Without them the tree will easily topple over when it is larger.
    The remedy for this case would be two different things. One, as said before, replace the edging and expand the bed a bit. This will be the ineveitible eventually anyway, as these roots will grow larger and protrude more. The second, which is more temporary but will work for now, is to just cover the aesthetics of it. Pound the edging down (have to use a wood block and sledge hammer and work your way around). Add more stakes if necessary - this is one of the most common causes of this anyway - is not enough stakes installed. Many times, this stuff just heaves up even withOUT the tree roots - this looks to be the possibility in this case. Anyway, back to this second remedy...Once the edging is pounded back down, if it is still up high out of the ground, add topsoil on the sod side, and stone (or rake toward the edging). This will cover up the amount of steel edging that is showing.
    Just a sidenote: Whenever you have aluminum edging that is doing this, do not pound on it. It has to be re-spaded to reset.

Share This Page