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Old 04-10-2015, 12:44 AM   #1
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Cutting into the root of a live oaks tree


I have a large live oaks tree over 30 feet tall about 15' from the house.

I am building a 12'x12' gazebo between the house and this tree and everything is fine except one of the four poles of this gazebo happens to sit on top of one of the big roots of this tree. The roots are everywhere but this particular root is big like a six inch pipe and travels along the surface of the ground so it sticks out about 3" off the ground.

In order to put the gazebo poles down level and square I need to notch 3" into this big root. If this was a piece of hard wood, a Dremel multimax oscillating tool to use for this notching would be perfect...but this root has moisture in it and very fiberous, the oscillating blade doesn't seem to make much progress. Not quick sure what other tools I can use for making a notch, can't use sawzall as I am not cutting across but cutting into the actual wood. Ideas?

Why would the live roots be harder to cut then solid hard wood?
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Old 04-10-2015, 06:20 AM   #2
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First, cutting into a root and using it as a foundation isn't going to work. The root will move with some force as the tree grows, eventually tearing out this post and wrecking your gazebo. You need to cut through the root so the post and create the same type of footing as on the rest of the posts. I have successfully cut through roots using an ax and pick ax.
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:14 AM   #3
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I understand that. This is a mature tree where that part of the root has already established and my tree guys said the growth areas is on the perimeter of the tree not the big roots at the base.

Second there is no need to cut through a 6-8" root if all I need is a 2-3" notch on the edge of something like this.



If it does move I can adjust accordingly it's not an issue. The gazebo will be taken down during hurricane seasons anyways.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:15 AM   #4
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Ayuh,.... As noted, that root will continue to grow/ move,....

Cut yer post off to level the structure,....
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondo View Post
Ayuh,.... As noted, that root will continue to grow/ move,....

Cut yer post off to level the structure,....
OK if I cut my post off to level the structure, the truncated post will still sit on top of the root, and will move if that moves, right?

It's a temp structure that will be taken down and re-elected several times a year...so adjustments to "movement" is not an issue.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:41 AM   #6
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How big is the pole? You could drill a hole.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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If your structure is temporary, then lag a piece of PT to the root and level the building off of that spot.
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landfillwizard View Post
If your structure is temporary, then lag a piece of PT to the root and level the building off of that spot.
OK so what you mean is to attach a piece of lumber on that root, then use that as the anchor elevation for all four posts? If so I need to build up 5" off the concrete walkway for the other three posts. 3" where the root is above the rest of them, and another 1.5"-2" for the piece of 2X PT.

Wouldn't it be easier to notch the root down 3"? I am only talking about a footprint of 5"x5". I'll try to use other tools or a hand chisel and see if that works.

Last edited by miamicuse; 04-10-2015 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:41 PM   #9
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Ayuh,... How 'bout adjustin' the total footprint one way or the other, the width of the root,....

If ya Insist on cuttin' it, get a Chainsaw to do it,....
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:25 AM   #10
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THAT IS COOL . i wouldn't be mess'n that up. i would do some kind of landscaping around it. could be made to look great !
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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I like the lag screw idea. At least on a trunk, the tree seems to grow around and over it. I think it is called an eye screw - one with round eye. It can serve as an anchor.

I would not cut a notch out it and leave it. Could be entry for infection, bugs and fungus. At least make a clean cut and let the tree heal around it. I did cut 12" trunk with a sawsall once - it killed the tool at the clutch. I think you should have a small shovel, pick axe, brush, chain saw, and a sawsall. Anything but a dremel. I like your David optimism.
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