Return to the Fig Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Posted by rsieminski 9b (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 5, 09 at 11:08

I planted 3 Ficus Benjamina plants that have now become very large and beautiful trees, 30-40' high. The roots have gone under his fence, and he says that they are headed for his pool, believe it or not. For some reason the roots are exposed on his side, but not on mine. I offered to help him cut the roots, but he says "the trees must go. In fact that rubber tree needs to go too!" How forward can you get!

What can I do? What should I do? What would you do?

Thanks,
--Rick


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 5, 09 at 12:13

I would consult an attorney to find out if he has standing. Tough call - especially if he's a good neighbor. The roots of Ficus b. are tough enough to break up roads & building foundations, so I would venture that a concrete swimming pool wall would be little different.

Al


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

These trees are renowned for growing very vigorous surface roots and most arborists would recommend you never plant them in your yard. I have also heard the root growth will migrate toward water sources . . . like a pool.

I am very surprised you have no surface root growth. The yards that have them around here have no soil left on the ground. It is a solid mass of surface roots.


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

So do you recommend that I take it out?

Unless the pool had a leak, how would the tree know that the pool was there?

Can I stop it by cutting the roots?

Thanks,
--Rick


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Rick,

Have an Arborist come over and ask their opinion regarding the ficus. Cut the roots? Cut the trees? Trim? Have your neighbor there too so he can hear first hand what is said. That way you let your neighbor know you understand his concerns and are willing to resolve the problem. It will help keep the animosity down. It's up to you if you want to take their suggestion or not.

If this doesn't resolve the issue then I'd go see an attorney to find out the legalities of the situation.

Sue


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

The best idea yet!


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

I agree with Sue.
Though, maybe do both. As far as the pool, Our ficus, in the front yard, has roots growing through small cracks in our pools wall. It also has seeked out my ponds on the oposite side of the house and has the roots growing up the sides and dipping into the surface of the water.....


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Ciao, this sure seems like a terribly invasive tree to have especially in a populated area. It seems to just take over. If I was your neighbor, I would probably want it down too. Maybe you should keep these type of trees for when you are in a less populated area where it wouldn't effect others homes. Did you research its habits before you planted it? Also, it may start to reach havick on your own home. People do keep Benjamina as houseplants in pots, or in pots on their porches ect. I don't know Benjamina's native habitat, but obviously it likes to search deep for water. I hope you come to a peaceful resolution. Good Luck. Ciao


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

See the thing is that they sell them as hedge plants, and they do end up outside. The nurseries advertise them as quick growing landscape plants. I saw a mature one down the street and that's why I thought they would be nice in my yard. It's a beautiful tree, and I hate to kill it, but it looks like it may have to go. Did I mention he is a cop.


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Rick if you were the neighbor you might worry as well, they seek water roots are under his fence its only a matter of time before the ultimate also the roots on top of the soil will soon make it hard to cut the grass as i have seen some tree's do that. Save your money as i think an aborist will tell you the same thing cut it down. In the end you both have piece of mind cause if you dont and 1 day it does invade his pool then what, if it were me i would whack it this spring and grow some ornamental tree as a replacement and stay away from bradford pear tree's they dont get pears and are very pretty in spring but split in storms as i have found out weeping willows are similar as well.
Martin


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Rick, if you can, just cut the trees down. In the end, you will save yourself a lot of heartache -- they do destroy pools and yards. My neighbor to the back had one that broke through our mutual fence. I didn't ask, but he on his own cut it down. To this day on that side of my yard, it's hard to plant because the ground still has lots of very strong roots that makes it hard to dig. To my left, another beautiful huge ficus that neighbor cut down because it was breaking up their driveway and mine.


 o
RE: Ficus Benjamina, my neighbor is demanding that I cut it down

Hi, I saw this post earlier and I can so relate. When I purchased my first home, I wanted to make it look nice. I went to the nursery and bought two trees. A Chinese Elm and a Ficus. They were both little twigs. Years later, both grew into BEAUTIFUL trees. Stunning really. I started to have plumbing problems. I was having the sewer snaked every other month. At one point, it was every month. I still refused to chop it down. The plumber himself told me it is the Ficus and to chop it down or he might as well move in. HA! I was so stubborn in my younger years. :o) I even had him change the pipes. When they dug the trench, I could actually see the root going into the pipe in SEVERAL places. My ficus tree roots never surfaced. They were happy going into the sewer pipe and clogging it. After that got fixed, it started to crack the concrete walkways and planter. The planter is just 5 ft. from the house. I then realized it was that damn tree or the house foundation. I hated to do it but I had it removed. This was THOUSANDS of $'s later.

I have a neighbor that put in several in their front yard. When they did it, I was shaking my head. 2 days ago, they had all of them removed. Probably going for the pipes and the house.

Do everyone a favor and save your money with the arborist. Have them removed. There is no way to contain them. Really.

Nancy


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Fig Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here