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Questions and Answers

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Root control is a rather arcane service to which Greenwood International brings special expertise. Tree roots are notorious for damaging or destroying nearby sidewalks, parking spaces and other paved areas, as well as for obstructing buried sewer and drainage lines. Such problems indicate that the tree is struggling to survive, by searching for needed nutrients or better soil conditions in which to grow.

Accordingly, direct measures such as removing the offending root and repaving the area not only injure the tree, but are usually temporary solutions, at best. They leave the underlying problem unaddressed, so the tree redoubles its effort to get its needs met.

Before a permanent solution can be chosen, the basic, causal situation must be analyzed and diagnosed. Possible culprits might include:

  • Initially planting a tree species not appropriate for the location
  • Placing the pavement or piping too close to an established tree
  • Densely compacted soils, perhaps the result of construction activity
  • Barren ground, caused by haphazard mixing of topsoil and subsoils
  • Poor soil drainage
  • Inadequate soil aeration

Only after such key factors have been identified and carefully analyzed by a Greenwood expert can we decide on the most cost effective solution. Among the possibilities:

  • Transplanting the offending tree
  • Changing or relocating the pipe or pavement
  • Replacing the tree with one more suited to the site
  • Improving drainage
  • Improving aeration (often needed in or near parking lots)
  • Vertical mulching to improve the root environment of the stressed trees
  • Selective root pruning
  • Installing biological or mechanical root barriers
  • Removing the tree and grinding the stump

The thoughtful response is not to fight with the symptom, but to solve the problem.