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drainage channel running under my backyard

 
Ronnie Yu
Posts: 31
Location: Orange County, CA
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There's a concrete drainage channel/tunnel that runs right underneath my property. It's probably at least 3 feet beneath the surface. Take a look at this image from google maps. My property is marked with a star. You can see where the channel eventually flows out into the open.

I plan to get a more precise measurement of how deep it's buried and how wide it is (according to the easement documents, it practically is as wide as the yard ). Whatever the case, do you see this causing any issues as far as tree growth is concerned? As you can see in the picture there's a large tree already (a carrotwood) that seems to be growing just fine. Are there any fruit trees that are known to grow deep roots that might be problematic?

Of course, my big fear is that one day, after putting a lot of time and effort into the yard, the county will call me up and say that they have to dig up my yard to service the thing. But I suppose there's no use in worrying about that.

 
John Elliott
pollinator
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I think these are designed to be impervious to roots from the biosphere above. I once lived on the banks of the Los Angeles river (not as scenic as it sounds), and no plants seemed to be able to establish themselves in the concrete of the channel. Drainage channels aren't even a good place for plants to look for water, because half the year, the channel is bone dry. Roots would probably do better expanding under the concrete of the channel, since any porosity to the bottom of the channel will make those places sources of water. I know in Albuquerque, they can get a good crop of tumbleweeds in the drainage channels, but those are annuals that quickly go to seed and dry out when the moisture is gone.

If you intend to garden with raised or hugel beds, it's probably not going to make any difference.
 
Ronnie Yu
Posts: 31
Location: Orange County, CA
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John Elliott wrote:I think these are designed to be impervious to roots from the biosphere above. I once lived on the banks of the Los Angeles river (not as scenic as it sounds), and no plants seemed to be able to establish themselves in the concrete of the channel. Drainage channels aren't even a good place for plants to look for water, because half the year, the channel is bone dry. Roots would probably do better expanding under the concrete of the channel, since any porosity to the bottom of the channel will make those places sources of water. I know in Albuquerque, they can get a good crop of tumbleweeds in the drainage channels, but those are annuals that quickly go to seed and dry out when the moisture is gone.

If you intend to garden with raised or hugel beds, it's probably not going to make any difference.


Thanks John! My concern isn't so much about the trees affecting the channel (even though that is a concern), but more if the channel would affect tree growth (either because it will act as a physical barrier to root growth, or affect drainage, etc).
 
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