I really like how shady our yard is, but I'm not so excited about cleaning up everything that drops off the trees. I can't pick the fruit from the very top of the trees, so it rots and falls to the ground, and then it attracts mice and birds unless I clean it up straight away. I'm getting the trees all lopped back so I can get a break from all the cleaning up all this fallen fruit. This blog is all about how to get your backyard fruit trees lopped so that you don't have to clean up as much fallen fruit.
A fully grown oak tree is a majestic sight with its wizened bark and twisted limbs. With their thick trunks and aura of ancientness, one could be forgiven for thinking that oak trees are invincible. However, surprisingly, despite their outwardly tough appearance, oak trees generally do not fare well when their root systems are disturbed.
If you are planning on building a new fence or building near an oak tree, you might be wondering if doing so could spell the end for your tree.
An Oak's Root System is Expansive
When building near an oak tree, it is important to be aware that the root system of a fully grown oak tree can cover up to 7 times the width of its crown or canopy. In total, such an expansive root system can measure up to hundreds of miles in length. That means if your oak tree is 15 metres wide, then its root system could well be over 1 hundred metres wide.
If you have plenty of land to work with, this shouldn't be a problem. However, if not, then building a fence or building within the boundary of your oak's root system could harm the tree. If this is the case then you will either have to rethink your plans or be extremely careful when excavating your land.
How Much Damage Can an Oak Take?
Oak tree roots tend to be only around 18 inches below the surface of the soil. This means that placing fence posts near an oak tree without damaging its roots might be almost impossible. If you are forced to cut your oak tree's roots, however, remember that cutting roots that are over 3 inches wide will deprive your oak tree of the means to transport nutrients and water.
Although your oak tree might not exhibit signs of stress for a year or two after losing roots of 3 inches and over, it will eventually begin to decline. This could lead to its death within a few years.
Cutting Smaller Roots Won't Help Either
You could at first get away with cutting away a few smaller roots as you excavate the land but in a few years, this could come back to haunt you. The oak tree will replace those lost roots, growing new ones that could damage the new structure or fence you build, putting all your hard work at risk.
If there is no other alternative, the best thing you can do for your oak tree is to hire an arborist and stump grinding service to advise you. A professional arborist can tell you which roots to cut and help you to keep the tree healthy afterward using a suitable fertilization program. If done right, your new fence or building can share the space with your oak tree for many years to come.