Ask a Question forum: Crepe Myrtle Roots vs. Patio

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Oct 9, 2016 1:53 PM CST
I have an old crepe myrtle that is probably going to need to be taken out because it is exerting pressure on a back fence and has already broken one of the fence posts. My concern, however, is that a little over 5 feet in the opposite direction from the fence, is the edge of our pavers brick patio. I'm concerned that if we have the tree taken out, this could disturb the root system that, according to what I've read, is likely to extend to under much of the patio. If the tree is taken out and the roots are shifted as a result of the bulb removing action, will that likely cause sinking issues or other issues with the patio or some of the bricks of the patio? If so, can/could these issues be alleviated by leaving the bulb and/or stump of the tree in place?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 9, 2016 3:08 PM CST

Grinding the stump will not cause the roots to move. My bigger concern is that grinding the stump will not kill the tree - you will have suckers showing up wherever roots are within a few inches of the surface.

After you have the tree cut down, poison the stump. Crepe Myrtles don't have bulbs, just the part of the trunk that is underground. In a few years, that part will rot and you can fill the void with garden soil. Or, after you know the tree is dead, grind the stump. Over time, some subsidence could be caused by the decomposition of the roots but this is better than the alternative (trying to dig out all the roots).

Oct 9, 2016 4:47 PM CST
Thanks so much Daisyl! This makes perfect sense.

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