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Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 8:46 am
Location: Isle of Man

Advice Needed--UK members, pls help

Hello - I'm new to the forum and not a gardener so need some honest advice.

Lat year I employed a gardener to dig out a border around the outside of my garden and plant Conifers in the hope that they would "grow veryquickly and provide a bit more privacy from the neighbours etc" as promised by the gardener. The Conifers ere his recommendation.

Some of the trees have done well however the majority are dead or going brown and look like they will die.

I have therefore asked a new gardener to come around and get some suggestions.

He was amazed that the older gardener had suggested Connifers and told me that building regs state that Connifers shouldn't be planted within 26 feet of the house and can cause serious damage to my patio and house as the roots grow out rather than down. He told me that I had been taken for a ride and said that he will have to take all of the trees away, dig out the soil to make sure no virus can be there and said he would replant Grisalenia as they are much better - at a cost of ...£1,000

Can somene please advise if this new gardener is telling the truth?

Seeing as some of the connifers look strong, can I not just replace the dead ones and keep the cost down?

Also is it true that the guys who origionally planted the trees shouldn't have done so due to building regs??

Also, quite a few weeds are growing in between the trees - am I able to spray a weed killer around the connifers that will kill the weeds and not the connifers?

Also is there anyhing else I can do that will ensure a healthier life for the connifers?

Sorry about so many questions!!! All advice is much appreciated.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Hi JM and welcome to the Forum! Since you hadn't gotten any response, I took the liberty of moving your post to the Trees section, where more people will see it who might be able to answer your question. Not everyone takes the time to read the Introductions.

Do you know what kind of conifers you are talking about? Conifers covers a lot of territory. Some are dwarf and would not be a problems near your house and some will get huge...

You said the conifers were in a border at the outside of the garden and then you said maybe they shouldn't be within 26 feet of your house. Does that mean the OUTSIDE of your garden is within 26 feet of your house?

Pictures would probably help. Here's the instructions for how to post them:

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:26 am
Location: North Carolina

Have you checked the building regulations yourself? Sounds to me that someone is blowing smoke, but you're on the Isle of Man a different country but that seems mighty strange.

Green Thumb
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Which conifers are we talking about? Can you supply photos and/or a drawing of the property with dimensions.
There isn't nearly enough solid information here to offer competent advice. I can tell you, however, that for all practical purposes all woody plant roots ultimately go out rather than down. Some species start with a tap root or something close to it when they are young but all trees primarily have horizontally radiating roots in the top 75cm of soil. Some trees have more extensive root systems and some may be shallower rooted than others but none that I'm aware of only send roots down.
I'm extremely skeptical of the second gardener's advice but I'm unwilling to call a foul without more information. It also could be that both gardeners have given you bad advice. At least in North America incompetence in the field is all too common.

Hold off on the herbicide use.

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi JM.
Plenty of conifers around us down here in the south and many of them very close to buildings. has been said...which conifer have you got.
If they have planted the dreaded Leylandi then you will indeed very quickly have a problem. they do make a screening in double quick time and then forget to stop growing. Treated carefully and trimmed every year you can get them to form very effective hedges but once out of hand ...forget it.

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