seeking creative solution to pine root damage in driveway
My neighbor has some large pines which are on the border of our properties. Over the years they have trimmed and/or removed some, but a few big ones remain. On the neighbors' side of the trees, they have a lawn which they water. On our side, there is ~6-8 feet of soil with some shrubs, sloping down a bit to our asphalt drive. We have lived here for over 20 years, and what was once smooth asphalt has visible roots among broken asphalt (up to 4 feet into the drive) on the surface. The edging along the asphalt is also buckling.
I would like to build a low retaining wall along the edging, but if left as is, the tree will necessitate rebuilding the wall every few years. I am looking for a way to fix (for good)the problem without killing the tree. The edging is too close to the trunk to consider cutting the roots there safely. I thought I would try to grind out the surface roots furthest away from the trunk, but fear it would still kill it. Also, if I remove the broken asphalt in a few spots, to get to the roots, subsequent water could encourage new roots where there is no longer any asphalt to keep them in check.
I am considering changing my plans for the placement of the retaining wall to go around the worst of the broken asphalt (cutting into our drive by ~4 feet), and tearing out the buckling edging. Could I just cover up the exposed roots and smother them with something waterproof and soil? I could then plant a ground cover on top which wouldn't require deep drainage. I know smothering is not a great idea, but the tree has lived with roots under the asphalt for many years, so it wouldn't be a huge shock.
Any ideas or comments are welcome.