The Q&A Archives: Tree/Weed Root

Question: In the back yard of my house I moved into last year was an obvious tree/weed root. Probably a foot in diameter. The root itself was still exposed and was almost black(not sure if the previous owner used some type of chemical. Over the past year it grew (sprouted around the blackened part) and now because it is right in the corner of my house I got worried it might affect the foundation (it got really big). I cut down the branches and started to dig around the root, but the roots go way down. What do you recommed me to do? I've already dug down a good 4 feet and it keeps going. Is there some type of chemical I could use or fertilizer?

Answer: The problem you describe doesn't sound like an easy weekend project. In fact, I think you'd be better off hiring a landscaper to come in and grind the roots down. Here's why: as long as there is stored energy in the root system, it will continue to sprout. Wherever it sprouts it will, through photosynthesis, transport energy back through the roots, which will give it more stored carbohydrates to produce new shoots. If you were able to kill it chemically, as the root system decomposes, the soil level will sink, which could cause future problems. So, I suggest you hire a landscape contractor to grind the roots down and then backfill the area so it won't sink.

Wish there were an easier solution!

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