JAN: I have two silver leaf maple trees that are about 30 to 35 years. One of them seems to be more of the problem. They’re very close to the street and to the gutter but the roots have come up quite a bit and they’re causing the gutter and the walkway that we have going to the front door to buckle. I mean it’s actually cracked in the seams, the gutter that’s in the street, and I’m not sure what I can do; the roots are up above the grass quite a bit. But what I was thinking of is where the roots go down to the gutter and have lifted it in one area and lowered it in the next seam, if I chop through those roots enough to put like a piece of wood or whatever and then build it up higher with dirt, is that going to be a problem with the tree?
TOM: Well, it could harm the tree. It’s a difficult situation because anything that you do can harm the tree or could make it weaker so it could get blown over in a storm. Unfortunately, this is an active problem. It’s always going to be getting worse on you and you could break apart the curb or the area of the walkway that’s being cracked and then re-pour it but it’s only going to be a matter of, you know, some number of years before it happens again.
LESLIE: If you start repairing something on the curb which belongs, obviously, to the city/county community, that has to be done through the community. That’s not something you as a homeowner do, correct?
TOM: And the problem is that if you call the township or the county to take care of that, they’re going to go, “We’ll take care of it. We’ll just cut your tree down” and it’ll be gone.
JAN: Yeah, yeah.
TOM: So I think this is a situation where you just kind of want to try to maintain it as much as you can. There’s no easy fix here, Janet.