Hi, I have a large walnut tree that sits close to my back fence. My...

Asked February 5, 2015, 4:52 PM EST

Hi, I have a large walnut tree that sits close to my back fence. My neighbours paving is right up against the fence and her house is within 3-4 metres roughly of the fence. The roots are pushing up her paving and we've had two people look at it, I am wanting to know if its worth trying to save it as we'd have to put a barrier/trench in on her side of the fence and close to the fence too to prevent further damage. What is the likelihood of a large walnut tree surviving if we had to trench out say a whole side along the fence? Thanks.

Outside United States trees and shrubs tree pruning horticulture

1 Response

Hi -

Is your neighbor asking you to remove the roots, or is the city/township requiring you to do this?? I have never heard of this before in the US. I'm not sure where you are from since you listed "outside the US" in your question.

Removing the roots is never a good idea. If you remove a significant amount of roots, the tree will most likely perish.

Here are some resources to assist:
http://lancaster.unl.edu/hort/articles/2008/treerootdamage.shtml
http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6885

The second resource gives you some detail about protecting roots, but also addresses the issues you are facing.

I suggest you find out what the laws/rules are in your area regarding trees on property lines before proceeding.

Finally, you should contact a certified arborist to look at the tree. They will be able to examine the tree for health and should know what to do IF in fact something needs done in this situation. You can find an arborist in your area through this site:
http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx