Rooting for removal

Back in April of ’09 I wrote about our decision to remove the existing mulberry tree in our front yard. It wasn’t a difficult decision, but a difficult task to complete.

We now have further reassurance that it was a good choice. While we were gutting the basement we came across and increasing number of roots finding their way up through the floor. They had a particularly strong presence in “the secret room” under the front stoop and stairs, which was very close to the mulberry tree.

While removing and excavating the existing basement floor we discovered a whole new network of tree roots, large and small, growing in from underneath the footing wall and popping out of the clay.

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Mulberry tree roots don’t have the best reputation; they can be pretty aggressive. I am really glad that we took the tree down last April.

That said, not all roots may originate from the Mulberry tree! There is also a big Tree-of-Heaven (another junk tree species) very close to the northwest corner of our house.

This tree is also a little too close to the building and foundations for my comfort. The problem is that this tree is not on our property. I should plan to talk to our neighbor to find out how they feel about the tree, and if they would be open to replace it with another species a little further away from the building.

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About Marcus de la fleur

Marcus is a Registered Landscape Architect with a horticultural degree from the School of Horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Sheffield, UK. He developed a landscape based sustainable pilot project at 168 Elm Ave. in 2002, and has expanded his skill set to building science. Starting in 2009, Marcus applied the newly acquired expertise to the deep energy retrofit of his 100+ year old home in Chicago.

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