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Trees/Fence near large oak tree


QUESTION: We want to install an aluminum fence in a wooded area, but have several 50-75 year old oak trees and are worried about damaging the roots.  The fence guy says the posts would be 6 feet apart, dug 2 feet down with concrete at the bottom.  The fence would run in between a couple of large oaks, about 10 feet from the trunks.  

ANSWER: Not a problem. You might cut a few roots when the post is dug but the %of the root area is so small that it will cause no damage to the root systems or the trees. IF the hole was right next to the tree the amount of roots would be greater but 10 feet away would be no problem.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks so much for the prompt reply.  Got me thinking about another area of the yard, wondering how close is too close to the trunk?  There is a corner we would like to fence but the posts would be a lot closer to the tree, about 2-3 feet.  Is this asking for trouble or could a 30 year old oak withstand this?  thanks in advance-

This will be ok but the problem will be digging the hole with the woody area near the trunk. I would try and see if the post could be moved more away from the tree ( a little wider spacing at this point). This would allow a easier dug hole and less root cutting.  


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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