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Dealing with incorrectly placed trees

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Dealing with incorrectly placed trees

17 Oct 2014

 

Trees are wonderful to have in a home, but when the correct planting practices have not been followed a tree can turn into your biggest outdoor problem.

When planting a tree, it's important to choose the correct position in which to plant, as it can be a difficult and costly process to transplant or remove incorrectly placed trees.

Glenice Ebedes from Grounded Landscaping says one of the benefits of being a landscaper is that you get to see firsthand how seemingly benign planting practice from the past can cause major problems to an owner’s property.

“One of the most common problems we encounter with regards to this is the planting of trees too close to a home, perimeter wall, or other hard structure such as a pool.”

When planting a tree, it's important to choose the correct position in which to plant, as it can be a difficult and costly process to transplant or remove incorrectly placed trees.

In most cases, incorrectly planted trees will eventually cause damage to property, so the first step to countering this problem is to research your chosen tree and take into account its full-grown size, growth habits and the aggressiveness of its root system.

As an example, a tree aloe (aloe barberae) planted next to a house to enhance the entrance can be a wonderful sculptural plant that complements modern architecture. It grows up to 18m tall and branches out to give a spread of between 4 to 8m.

“One of the most common problems we encounter with regards to this is the planting of trees too close to a home, perimeter wall, or other hard structure such as a pool.”

However, if it is planted too close to the house, its branches are squashed in the limited area. The trunk of this tree also swells with age and can grow to a diameter of 3m, which could then interfere with the house.

The answer in this scenario is simple - if the tree is still fairly young, transplant it to a safer area.

Sometimes though, gardeners aren’t responsible for choosing the position in which trees grow. For example, a white stinkwood (celtis africana) could self-seed in a sheltered position next to a house.

The seed may have fallen from a neighbouring property, or, more likely, the seed was deposited in the droppings of a bird. The problem is not so much that the tree reseeded itself, but rather that the young sapling was not removed in time. In this case the tree is left to grow, and eventually grows to a height of 3m, which could possibly affect a building’s foundation.

The best solution is to contact a professional tree-feller and have the tree removed immediately, she says.

For example, the roots of a jacaranda tree (jacaranda mimosifolia) in a parking area could uplift the paving, making a large part of the parking area unusable.

There are several types of trees that have large surface roots which could damage structures or paving. For example, the roots of a jacaranda tree (jacaranda mimosifolia) in a parking area could uplift the paving, making a large part of the parking area unusable.

Again, the solution is to get the tree removed by a professional tree feller, the paving re-laid, and a new tree (with non-aggressive root-system) planted.

It is often a sad experience to remove a large tree from a property. But it is far better to save yourself the resultant costs of damage to property and plant trees that will prove non-aggressive and just as effective in years to come.

Always research the full-grown size of the tree you wish to plant and allow room for it to grow and form a natural shape, to avoid having to trim or completely fell it at a later stage.

It is also important to consider whether you have allowed enough space for a swelling trunk.

 

Author: Glenice Ebedes - Grounded Landscaping

Submitted 28 Oct 14 / Views 2942