evergreen roots near driveway

kjmama(6)October 8, 2011

We have a 3 foot piece of land next to our driveway that we would like to plant some evergreen trees for privacy. Are there some that would be less damaging to a driveway?


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karinl(BC Z8)

Well, how high does your screening have to go? If you want serious trees that will grow 20-30 feet high, you may have something to worry about. But since your strip of land is only 3 feet wide (if I understand correctly), you probably want hedging type-plants and want to keep them to a certain height.

In the latter case I would simply suggest that you consider the installation relatively temporary - that is to say, requiring replacement every 10 years or so, all at once or staggered, depending on what size you buy.

Another aspect to consider is how to induce your plants to stay away from the driveway. I'm guessing that one reason that roots gravitate (no pun intended!) to the underside of concrete surfaces is that moisture collects there. If the plants are reliably watered in other areas, their roots will not have to go to the driveway, or at least not as aggressively.

A friend once asked me what might be wrong with the plants in the front yard of the townhouse she had inherited from her mother. They were fairly large shrubs. I looked around a bit and suddenly realized that underneath the mulch we were standing on was sheet plastic covering the entire front yard. Fortunately we live in a rainforest, and fortunately too the front yard was small, so in winter the ground probably got wet, but in summer, those plants could only get moisture along the underside of the plastic where it condensed. Predictably, the surface of the soil was a mat of roots that the same plants, planted normally and watered reliably, would have sent much deeper into the soil.

Karin L

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 1:39PM
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Thank you. I actually just looked more closely and I doubt we have any footage. We mow 3 feet, but it looks like the actual line is on the driveway. Our neighbors would contest this, which is the reason we'd like to do have some privacy. They put up 500 watt tv screen type security lamp and aimed it at our house:(

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 3:18PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Then you clearly need this book about gardening directly on hard surfaces - if you can give up a bit of driveway to build some planter boxes (or to put containers) you may still be able to do your screening.

You can also drill into the driveway to install posts for a trellis, perhaps, if you don't think you can accommodate enough dirt to grow hedging plants. One vine can grow a lot out of a single big container.

Karin L

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening on hard surfaces

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:20PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

They put up 500 watt tv screen type security lamp and aimed it at our house:(

Talk to the local police and ask them if the placement of the lamp violates any local ordinances or would be considered as constituting a nuisance and/or harassment. As well, talk to your city government, HOA, etc. If you have a lawyer, you might also talk to him/her. Take photos that show the lamp's location and its impact on your house; show the photos to whomever you speak with.

If there are other problems, document everything.

You might be interested in this thread:

To me it seems odd to have a driveway that abuts the property line. Was the driveway there before you bought the house? Is that allowed by your local building code?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Thank you for the 2 links, karen and missing. I will check them out. The driveway was redone at some point, I think it was widened.
I appreciate both of you offering helpful input:)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 8:42AM
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