Last year when I was redoing my backyard I came across a little problem. Well, it wasn’t so much a little problem as a 100 year old massive problem with raccoons, birds and bugs living in it. A tree root … wait a minute, did I refer to the time I was redoing my backyard as last year? Yeah, um … I think it was probably closer to 4 years ago. It only feels like last year.
Where was I?
Oh right, the tree root. So when I was laying down my new flagstone and building my new planter beds a huge tree root from a bazillion year old maple tree was in the way. There were 4 ways around the problem. I could …
1. Adjust all the plans to scale I had spent the past 2 months drawing up.
2. I could hack away at the tree root with a hatchet.
3. I could get and remain perpetually drunk so as not to notice the resulting wonky planter beds, or
3. I could move.
I picked door number 2 and hacked away at the tree root. The root was huge, the tree was huge, I didn’t see a problem with taking a little bit off. And there wasn’t a problem. I just chipped away at the root until I could fit my planter beds where I wanted them and that was that.
Then a few days ago while I was framing my chicken coop I realized I needed an extra inch. Literally, just one inch. In order to get that inch of floor space for my chicken coop to fit, I was going to have to hack away at another root. And not just any root. It was the root to my absolute favourite rose bush.
A 20 year old climbing rose bush that spreads over my side gate. Now, a mere mortal would be fearful of this. I am not a mere mortal. I’m a girl. Plus I had no other option. Having no other option in any situation gives most of us superpowers we had no idea we had. Like that guy who chewed off his own arm when he got stuck in a gulley.
Cutting branches and bits of roots usually doesn’t harm the plant as long as you do it right. Here, is how to do it right.
Make sure whether you’re cutting a branch or a root that you use clean, sharp tools. You want your cut to be nice and smooth, not jagged and hackey. Hacky? Hackie. Don’t hack away at it. Also, don’t take away huge amounts. Use common sense. If you’re removing 3/4’s of the root then chances are your plant isn’t going to do well afterwards.
Brush away any debris.
To cut the inch out of my rose root I used a sharp wood chisel and a hammer.
Once your cut area is cleaned, squeeze some Outdoor Wood Glue on it. If you don’t have any of that you can use Regular Wood Glue. If you don’t have Regular Wood Glue you can use Regular White Glue. If you don’t have Regular White Glue, clearly you’re on the wrong website.
Using a paint brush paint the glue across all the cut root or branch surface. If you don’t have a paint brush use your finger. If you don’t have a finger I’m truly sorry for you.
Once the glue dries, your cut will be sealed and the job is done. The idea behind the glue is to seal the surface and keep bacteria and disease from getting in.
And you’re done. Now wasn’t that easier than moving?