UKTC Archive

RE: Fill over roots [Scanned]

Subject: RE: Fill over roots [Scanned]
From: rupertbaker
Date: Dec 17 2009 21:39:31
I've seen an Ash in an old quarry backfilled by 12 ft (3.6m) and surviving
happily.  The material tipped to lift the levels up its trunk was a shillety
sub-soil; and the tree had carried on growing happily (I saw it before it
was tipped around, and last saw it 30 years after it was tipped around/ up
its trunk/ whatever.

On a site whose trees I survey for safety are a trio of YM Beech ~ 40cm
diameter at what is currently bh.  They have tarmac up to their trunks (it
is an outdoor fun-park with waterslides, etc etc.  there is clear sign of
roots developing just below tarmac level, but the area looked as though
levels had been altered; I asked the owner/manager about it, and he
confirmed that the levels around the trees had been raised by more than 3m;
but again with the local subsoil/bedrock - shillet- which is a sort of
demoralized mudstone, with very clear bedding planes, but little strength.
The trees were growing quite happily, decent extension growth and annual
increment; so after shaking my head, I passed them as safe, and put them
down for a regular monitor.

So it's going to depend on what they use to surcharge the site with; how it
is put down, and- equally importantly - the textural type of the soil on
site at present.  If that is clayey, and you compress it with overburden,
then you've lost before you start.  As has been said, it is gaseous exchange
you need to worry about

I'd tell them to go forth and multiply; (if it is your decision)  and don't
allow it with amelioration from eg terralift or similar; it won't make any
difference.  I'd say your 20th century notes from Merry Wood were about
right;  as long as the tree's root system is capable of growth, it'll cope
with 75-100mm of cover by growing new roots into it- as long as it has some
structure, of course.

All the best
Rupert
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