Monday, April 16, 2012

Invasive Trees

Trees are a very important part of our everyday lives. However some species are unsuitable to be planted in close proximity to houses. They can cause considerable amounts of damage, in particular to house foundations, sewer pipes, paths and walls, and this can be very costly.

Trees planted near buildings need to be chosen carefully. A beautiful tree like a fig, if planted in a bed that is too narrow to accommodate its massive roots, will ultimately lift up any pathways and damage the foundations of any nearby wall in its efforts to find room to grow. Both ornamental figs and rubber trees have large anchoring roots and needs to be given plenty of room to grow.

Root barriers are a good way of controlling young trees when they are established in the ground. The principle employed is that the barriers move the roots vertically rather than horizontally where they can cause excessive damage. Another method to control invasive tree roots on mature trees is by digging a trench around the roots and placing a double layer of shade cloth around the outside of the trench. As the new roots begin to grow they will be forced down vertically.

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