Can re-grading this way kill trees?

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by eastcoast, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. eastcoast

    eastcoast Member

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    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    I'm in New Jersey. For those of you that don't know, it is also known as The Garden State. The people next door to me have many old (90 years I would estimate some of them) oak trees. I also have some oak trees that are near the property line, and from what I understand about half the roots of the tree go into their yard. The people next door have gotten their lawn re-graded to address a drainage problem. They got about 6 trucks loads of soil which has a lot of clay in it, since it was taken from landfill. It was spread across the entire yard, then top soil was added, then grass seed. Oh, they also used some kind of machine to drive across the soil and compress it so that the pitch for drainage would go in the right direction.

    I was told by a friend that those people can kiss their trees goodbye, because in 2-3 years, the trees will die because the roots of the trees won't be able to get any oxygen. This of course makes me very sad, because I love trees and enjoy their view. But since I have trees too whose root system is half in their yard also covered up by this regarding, now I'm deeply concern and upset that this will kill my trees too.

    I am new to all of this to be honest. I'm just repeating what I have been told and what I have seen while the work was being done. Is this a 100% certain think, that the trees in their yard will die and also mine? What can be done to safe my trees or at least give them a fighting chance?

    I have tried to talk to the people next door about this concern, and they assure me that the landscaper they used who has been in business of many years (I don't know how many years) knows what he was doing. They didn't explain to me how he knows, other than that he has done work in the area for years.

    So is this a real problem or just a possible problem with low risky? What about the landscaper, if this is how he does drainage work, and it does kill trees, wouldn't he be out of business by now?

    A friend told me about something that people do to vent the roots of a tree, if I remember this correctly. He said it involved drilling into the group and putting something in there to get oxygen to the roots of the tree. Is this needed? Is it expensive? Does it work?

    Thanks in advance to any knowledge person who can answer my questions!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, it could kill the trees. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. The remedy is to remove the fill before it damages the trees. Since it is not your property you can't do anything about it. If you will not have one of the trees fall on your property or on you or yours while driving by etc. then the only way you will be directly affected if they are killed is as a distressed onlooker.
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    It may not kill your trees but it sounds like it will surely do them some harm. you could get a local qualified arborist to give you a consultation for a more hands on assessment. Core aeration is a method of drilling holes all over and hoping the gas exchange between the soil and atmosphere improves.

    www.isa-arbor.com ( click on the "find an certified arborist" button )
     
  4. eastcoast

    eastcoast Member

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    Thanks for your helpful reply. I will look for a qualified arborist. With "Core aeration", since it would require drilling holes all around the tree, does this leave anything visable on the yard? I am asking, since if half of my tree's roots are on the property next door, in addition to asking for their permission to have a Core aeration performed on their side, I'm wondering if it would leave their yard looking unusal to them in the long term? They don't have anything planted on top of my trees' roots except grass seed, so there isn't an issue with upsetting anything they have planted. I'm just trying to forsee any objections they might have to me having a Core aeration done. I suspect that as long as it doesn't look horrible long term, doesn't impact their grading for drainage and doesn't cost them anything I should be OK.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I like that link that jimmyq showed for the ISA.

    Some local chapters, like the PNW chapter, have separate websites, but the arborists listed on sites like that, are limited to a handful.

    The main ISA site http://www.isa-arbor.com provides many more arborists in your area to choose from, if not all of them.

    The rest of that site has a lot of good tree informtation too.
     

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