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Old 07-12-2008, 05:37 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,745 posts, read 13,685,025 times
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Okay, this may be a huge dumb question, or not... I wasn't sure if it should go here or in the Garden forum.

I have been trying to figure out what to do with the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street (surely there's an official name for it?) on my property. It has a mix of grass and weeds and I hate maintaining it because I use an electric lawnmower and my cord just barely reaches.

The piece of land is the width of my lot and separated into two sections by a concrete walk with 4 steps that provide access from the street to the sidewalk and then on to my house.

So, I was thinking of mulching the whole thing with the exception of a couple of trees, because I like the idea of curbside trees providing a shady street canopy and think more folks should do it.

My water shut off is located in the ground on one side of the strip of grass. I have a very old house (circa 1915), most of the pipes under the ground are clay, and my neighbor says that if I plant a tree in that spot (near the water shut off/water main) then I'm risking roots in the pipes. She says I should plant farther away, like on the other patch of land but that patch has shade from one of the trees that is inside my fence line, and the other side is bare and in full sun. It NEEDS shade whereas the other side does not.

My question is, how far away from the water shut off valve would I need to go to safely plant a tree? Is it going to be a concern no matter how far, if I'm planting a tree that will eventually get large, since the roots can spread far and wide? Or is she just being a know-it-all (she's the self-proclaimed authority on MANY things if you get my drift)...?
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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It's a gamble......if it's not there it's a sure thing.


I should add. I have seen tree roots go through main sewage lines....cast iron.....
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:27 PM
 
Location: in my mind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
It's a gamble......if it's not there it's a sure thing.


I should add. I have seen tree roots go through main sewage lines....cast iron.....
Hmmm...... so other than having no trees? Or is there a safe way to determine where exactly to plant them?
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:33 PM
 
29,566 posts, read 37,009,077 times
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I can't give you a height to root length equation.



I would imagine just from my very little understanding of plants is if it's 10 ft tall the roots run 10 ft wide in diameter in free soil best guesstimate. They will do what they wish....that's why I said it's a gamble.
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Old 07-12-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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I would not plant trees.
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:00 AM
 
3,191 posts, read 8,726,490 times
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Why don't you check with the city/water dept.? I bet someone there could tell you or if there is a city arborist he could advise. And maybe even the city would plant something...especially if you offered to supply the trees.A lot of places are interested in greening up their cities. We had two river birch planted in a strip like that, back in Jax.
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Lemon Grove, CA USA
1,055 posts, read 3,879,162 times
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Depends on the tree too. Some will destroy the sidewalk and most anything else within 5-10 feet of them others will be fine. Talk to an arborist or at least the city water people for some kind of guideline.
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:00 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 57,498,206 times
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How long do you plan to live there? It will take a while before the roots cause a problem .

Around here that strip of land is called a boulevard. We have one now and I want to plant trees in ours but city code prevents that--mainly because of the root/sidewalk issue. I am going to double check that though--a neighbor told me that vs a city authority.

We had tree-lined streets in our old house where the trees created a canopy over the street from both sides. I really miss that!!
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Vermont
3,419 posts, read 9,430,563 times
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Are you sure you actually own that strip of land and it is not part of your street right-of-way? I'd check with the town/city before doing anything there.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,350,626 times
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I would advise against it also due to problems roots may cause in the future for you. And if you would ever have to dig up that line for a maintenance issue you may also do consider damage to the tree.
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