Giant Bird of Paradise.

Westminster, CA

Hello everyone, this is my first posting. We have a Giant Bird of Paradise in the back yard. It has been there for over 25+ years. It is right up against a brick wall. Will the root system be strong enough to cause damage to the wall? There is also another tree in the yard behind us, and it is a very large tree, taller then the BoP. The root system there is causing the wall directly adjacent to it to shift, and also lifing the ground around the poolside bricks. The home owner behind us says the BoP is causing the damage, not their tree. Who's right ? Thanks. Brian.

Thumbnail by stogybear
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

My money would be on the tree, I don't know if the BOP could do that too, but trees are going to have a more extensive root system so I think odds are it would be the tree. Do you know what kind of tree it is? Some trees are more notorious than others for doing damage like that, so if you can tell us what the tree is someone might know whether it's one that's known for invasive roots or not.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

Cant tell about the tree, as Ecrane said, it all depends on which kind of tree you have, pluss, some folks call anything big, a tree, so can you get a name, a pic or more info for us. As for your large bird of paradise plant, that wont cause any movement to your bricks as far as I know, however, you would be doing it a favour if you could lift it out by the roots (might take some digging by the way) once out, seperate the plant up into indevidual plants, then replant these into a new area in or around the space they are in at the present as they seem to like that spot, add some good compost to the planting holes and some plant food to give them a really good new start, if you cant get the whole plant out, then just remove some WITH roots, then add compost to the old plants hole with some plant feed to help it recover, then replant the rooted bits you get away from the parent plant, this will give the old plant some extra room, try give info re the tree too so we can help you out. good luck. Weenel.

Westminster, CA

Thanks for your fast replies :) Here is a picture of the tree behind us. We are not sure what it is, it does grow fast though. We have to trim it every year as it hangs over the wall and pool. The BoP is just behind the large Palm Tree. The Palm Tree is about 4'-5' from the wall, the BoP are about 2' from the wall. The entire wall around the unknown tree is being pushed upward and outward towards our house.

Thanks. Brian.

This message was edited Jul 31, 2007 2:30 PM

This message was edited Jul 31, 2007 2:33 PM

Thumbnail by stogybear
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Sorry, can't figure out from that distance what it is, any chance you can get a closeup of some of the leaves? If the wall's being pushed towards your house, then it definitely has to be the tree roots, if it was the BOP it would be pushed in the other direction.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

It deffinately aint the BOP and it aint the palm either, as I look at the canopy area that the tree has, (the top growth) then you will know that the roots are every bit as wide and same spread as the top growth, then the tree needs removed, the roots killed and the wall checked over for safety, even the circumference of the trees trunk, tells you it is far too close to any construction, like Ecrane, cant name the tree without a pic of the leaves etc as it is too far away to identify, but there is no doubt in my mind that the roots of that tree are now too close to the wall,pushing against its foundations, so get a tree specialist in to do the job properly, NOT JUST A GUY WITH A CHAIN SAW, a proper tree guy will get the roots out so they dont regrow depending on the type of tree. good luck. WeeNel.

Norwalk, CA

I have the same problem. When i bought my house 3 years ago the original owner planted a BOP very close to my exterior wall of the house. Now its full grown with flowers maybe 15 feet tall and im scared that it will nake cracks to my concrete floor and walls. Does GBOP plant can really break bricks walls or concrete. Pls answer need help asap

Port Saint Lucie, FL

I just dug up one of my BOP's and split it up , the roots are more of a ball rhinbo(SP?) with little roots nothing to do that type of damage. and large tree the will spread wider then the tree top, those roots will break concrete easy!!

You appear to be in the city, and the neighbor doesn't sound like he wants to do anything your next course of action is to get written estimate for "licensed" contractor stating roots pushing up the wall and replacement cost, next contact code enforcement and building department let them take it over should take about 90 days . show them what it will cost for damages to your property , and be clear you want the problem to be properly removed so you don't have this expense again and reimbursement for cost

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