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Thread: tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

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    tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

    I have 2 trees about 10 and 12 ft from the pool. Both now have some roots that have grown under my liner and extend about half way across the pool. I can see the outline of the branching roots, and can definitely feel them when you step on it. Largest parts appear to be probably 1/2" or less, and everything else is smaller down to maybe 1/16" or less. I plan to cut one tree down and trim the other, but not quite sure how to take care of the root problem. I thought about digging a small shallow trench about 3 ft away from the pool, and cutting out about a foot of all those roots. Kinda hoping this would stop the root growth. Is that a good idea? Would there be something I could put on the cut ends leading to the pool that would kill the roots and allow them to decompose, but not leach some chemical through the liner? Is there a better way to take care of this, and hopefully prevent more roots from eventually doing the same thing? So far, no holes in the liner, but I don't want to wait much longer to fix this. Has anyone else had to deal with situation? Any suggestions would be very helpful, please... Thank you!
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

    The best way to fix what's already there is to remove the liner and dig them up and fill the voids. By cutting them off they will eventually decompose but they will leave a small trench and it will take a very long time for them to decompose.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

    Short of removing the liner and digging them up which would immediately solve the problem, digging a shallow trench and cutting the roots heading towards the pool is the next best thing. For the tree that you plan on keeping, I would install a root barrier between that tree and your pool while you have the trench dug. Fiberglass corrugated roofing material works well as a root barrier in that it is strong enough and yet pliable enough to contour to a desired shape. The top of the root barrier should be at least a few inches below the ground surface.

    If you decide to get through the summer, I would definitely remove the liner in the fall and take care of these roots the right way. If you go with the "trench only" method, it will take a long time for the cut roots under your liner to decompose and you would still be at risk for liner damage simply due to the amount of time the liner is under pressure from those roots.

    As for the tree you plan on keeping, you may have to prune it and supply some supplemental watering to compensate for the lost roots. A root watering rod would work best for the supplemental watering.

    Regarding the tree that you plan on taking out, I would hire a contractor to grind the stump below ground level which will eliminate any chance of future root sprouting. With the proper equipment, they should be done in 30 minutes.
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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville
    Regarding the tree that you plan on taking out, I would hire a contractor to grind the stump below ground level which will eliminate any chance of future root sprouting. With the proper equipment, they should be done in 30 minutes.
    We don't know the species yet, there are many that can sprout from the roots left after a good grinding.
    As soon as the last cut is done on the stump, paint the stump's top with Round-up, just pour is on straight out of the bottle and brush it around with a disposable brush, or push it around with a stick. That will kill it all.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: tree roots under liner - any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    As soon as the last cut is done on the stump, paint the stump's top with Round-up
    If you go this route, be sure to use Roundup Tree Stump and Root Killer http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roundup-Kill.../dp/B001DYQ286 and not the version of Roundup that is labeled to kill grassy weeds. I would also drill several large holes in the stump (top and sides) and pour this solution down them as well so that it gets further into the stump and roots more quickly.

    I have tried similar treatments on smaller stumps and it worked well on most of them. But on two Yaupon Holly stumps, I still had root sprouts even after applying this treatment. Admittedly, full-sized Yaupons are prolific root sprouters. On those, I got tired of waiting and eventually had those stumps and some of the larger surface roots professionally removed. This seems to have cured the problem. The main issue is that the OP and family would have to decide how long they want a tree stump remaining in the yard while waiting for it to decompose. Since it's not a big $ outlay, there is certainly no harm in trying this treatment and then, after a month or so, have the stump removed. If it were my yard, I would want a tree-sized stump out of there fairly quickly.

    BTW, just noticed that above link is a UK-based one. Not sure if product is available in US. If not, there are other similar treatments. A nursery professional or arborist can suggest some.
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