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How to kill/keep tree roots from coming back under concrete driveway.

bgaidan

Red Skull Member
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Jul 18, 2020
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Getting ready to sell my house toward the end of the month and, of course, that means doing all the shit I've been putting off since I bought it. :laughing:


One of those things I fixing the parts of my driveway that are all cracked to hell and sinking/heaving. If it were just cracking, I would have left it, but I had places where there were 3-4"+ lips and I know that'll ding me when I sell.

I was fairly confident it was from my neighbor's trees' roots and I started tearing shit up today and confirmed my suspicions.

Obviously I plant o dig down to any roots I see and cut them out. Right now the plan is to go down a few inches and put back a nice base of ABC/crusher run, but you know the roots will just come back.

I was thinking about putting a couple hundred pounds of (water softener) rock salt down before I put the base in. I figure that might help a bit, but I doubt it'll stop the big ones.

My other plan was to rent a mini ex or a trencher and dig down a couple feet at the edge of the driveway to cut all the of the roots and then put some kind of root barrier back in there. Not looking to spend a ton of money, but I'd also like to do it right for the next owner.

Taking the trees down is not an option...though maybe whatever I do will lead to that!

Ideas/suggestions I'm not thinking about?

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Just pave over it and leave the problem for the next poor sucker? I would love to see the thread on here in a year or two "previous owner screwed me"
 
Might need a couple hundred gallons now.....

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Crusher run comes standard with a house purchase in NC. I'd pull the concrete, cut roots back and throw it down. If you want to get fancy add metal edging.

Move or no move that will do fine with our climate. Unless you live somewhere FANCY!:flipoff2:
 
Crusher run comes standard with a house purchase in NC. I'd pull the concrete, cut roots back and throw it down. If you want to get fancy add metal edging.

Move or no move that will do fine with our climate. Unless you live somewhere FANCY!:flipoff2:

Not very fancy, and if I were doing the whole driveway, I'd just throw crusher run or gravel back down. But I'm doing about 14x30' which is probably 10% of the total driveway. And it would be a gap of crusher between two big chunks of concrete. No way a buyer wouldn't use that against me. I'm hoping to get this dug out, graded and formed myself and then find an amigo or two that can finish concrete for me. Should be under $2k after buying the mud and hauling off the old stuff....no place to dump the broken stuff here unless I can convince my neighbor to let me dump it in their woods.
 
You have to dig a trench and install a root barrier. Its a physical barrier the roots hit and dont penetrate.
 
[486 said:
;n124235]

I'm imagining a cut through the area provided by a trencher, then concrete poured in there
Close. The root barrier is fiberglass or plastic. Think of a sheet of corrugated fiberglass roofing.

It’s real cheap. The money is in the labor.

A 24 inch deep trench. It doesn’t have to be very wide at all. If you could honestly make it an inch wide it would work. The goal is just provide in the area to lay that sheet of barrier.
 
Close. The root barrier is fiberglass or plastic. Think of a sheet of corrugated fiberglass roofing.

It’s real cheap. The money is in the labor.

A 24 inch deep trench. It doesn’t have to be very wide at all. If you could honestly make it an inch wide it would work. The goal is just provide in the area to lay that sheet of barrier.

Rental chainsaw? :flipoff2:
 
Well there's your problem.

I wondering if the previous owners were actively cutting the roots. The house was built in '82. I bought it about 6 years ago. When I moved in I don't remember there being any signs of damage here, other than maybe a few typical cracks. This is one of about 4 or 5 big root masses like this in this ~8' x 20' area.

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Get that shit they put down septic tanks to kill the roots
 
Copper sheeting buried along side the driveway. I have yet to find plant that likes copper. Going to be expensive as fuck if you have a long run though.
 
Get that shit they put down septic tanks to kill the roots

Copper sulfate powder?

From what I can tell, these are the same thing. Seems like it doesn't last very long and needs to come in direct contact with the roots to kill them. That's why it only clears out the septic leach lines but doesn't kill the nearby tree.


I think trenching down ~2' or so next to the driveway and filling it up with concrete when I pour the rest of the slab would be the easiest. Not sure if I'm willing to go to that effort for the future owner though. I'll have to see if I can rent a cheap mini ex with a narrow bucket.
 
Also, fuck trees.

Though I'm amazed what I can do in about 6 hours with a clapped out old compact tractor and a Burke Bar.

I have one more panel to take out right behind where the tractor is sitting. Then I need to get a cutoff saw for a couple hours and saw cut all the edges to clean them up.

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