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Solution for Tree Roots Causing Cracks in Walkway

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: David in North Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    DAVID: I have a project that I’m trying to undertake here. It’s a large circle of granite rocks and mortar around a tree. And the tree was small and there was no problem. And for 15 or 16 years, there was no problem. But lately, there’s been – developing these cracks – vertical cracks – where the rocks are separating from the mortar. And I think it’s because the – our roots have gotten so big that they’re pushing out. But I don’t know – I need to have something that I – that is flexible and will at least hold it or I’ve got to do something else; I don’t know what.

    TOM: And that’s it. Look, you enjoyed this tree for those 15 or 16 years and yes, now it’s finally growing up and becoming an adult. It’s gone from a baby tree to a big boy tree and so it’s lifting up all that masonry all around it. You’re not going to stop this from happening, David. If you don’t want to see cracks, you could use something that was more like a brick-paver patio but that’s going to move, too. You’re just not going to stop this from happening.

    So, you either have to kind of work with it where it is or you have to take out the tree. Those are really your two options. You’re not going to be able to …

    DAVID: Oh, I can’t take out the tree; it’s just too beautiful.

    TOM: Then you’re just going to have to accept that this is the way it’s going to be and maybe think of some other design for that particular area that accounts for this.

    Why not just replace it with stone instead of – like loose stone instead of anything that’s more of a brick surface? Then you could just sort of rake it around.

    DAVID: Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, you could rake it around as the roots start to show. You’ll have a little bit more maintenance but at least it won’t be a hard product like concrete or granite.

    DAVID: OK. Well, that sounds like a solution. I’ll give it a shot and I’ll let you know in a couple of years how it works out.

    TOM: OK. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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