Roots under the garage

VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

I am having consistent, long-term problems with trees that somehow get their seeds under my garage and begin growing in the small gap between the asphalt driveway and the garage.

It is impossible to dig the roots out. No matter how many times and how much I cut them back, they grow again.

It is important that the roots are not allowed to undermine the garage, but short of using an herbicide on the leaves, I don't know what to do.

Has anyone else had this problem? How did you get rid of the trees?


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    Is it possible that there are trees that may be sending out long runner shoots that are getting in under the footings in your garage? They could be quite a distance away. The paved areas at our community hall have buckled with the tree roots that have grown under the pavement. Some of the roots are 30-40 feet away from the trees.

    I'm not sure what the solution could be for you. Our community hall will have to dig up and repave the areas involved including the tennis court.

    What about burning them out with a tiger torch (propane blow torch)?

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I suppose it's possible. I would have to look around and see if there are other examples of the same species of tree.

    I think it's more likely that birds have dropped seeds that landed in the crack between the driveway and garage wall, and sprouted from there.

    I would rather not use Roundup, but it may be the lesser evil unless I can come up with another solution.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    @Torey 😬 I'd be concerned about starting a travelling root fire.

    @VermontCathy If the birds are planting it, that's a tough one. They will keep doing so.

    Around here, Siberian elm is like a weed. Wind, birds, whatever, scatters them thickly everywhere. They can be beautiful trees. I'm just glad they aren't around our space. They have roots that destroy walks, lanes, waterlines, basements & foundations. It's not good once they take hold in cracks.

    It's amazing how many people will plant root invasive trees too close to these things & say, "It's not my problem! By the time its big, I'll be _____." Many years down the road, it usually becomes somebody else's huge headache. 😞

    I was instructed at the nursery to encourage good planting habits to hopefully minimize future problems. But birds don't listen very well.

    PennState's website promotes herbicide, claiming its "safe." :(

    Unfortunately, I really have no good solution for you.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,314 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have weeds and grass that grow in the cracks in our driveway. I've tried to seal the cracks, but they just keep coming back. I've tried salt and vinegar which works for a time. I've also tried a heat gun for the yard. Both work but things grow back when seeds get in the cracks.