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Build under a tree? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Build under a tree?

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  • Build under a tree?

    I'm posting this here because I couldn't find the "Not Getting Started" section.

    I've recently been advised that construction under the dripline of a tree often amounts to a sentence of slow death for the tree. This is a result of trauma to the root system.

    Naturally, the spot we had picked is right under a fully-grown hackberry tree. Has anyone built successfully under a tree? What did the tree look like several years later? We're considering other spots in the yard too, but to avoid trees entirely, we'd have to build inconveniently far from the back door.

    I've attached two unrelated photos. One proves that the beer gods think I need to get moving. The other shows one of the reasons that I haven't. If all goes well, that bed should be all raggedy tall grasses and flowers in a couple of months. I'm new at the gardening thing, so we'll see how it goes. (The compost bin behind was one of our first projects when we moved into the house last summer.)

    Ed
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Build under a tree?

    Will you be digging a deep foundation and destroying a bunch of roots? Otherwise I would think the tree will be fine, though I'm no arborist. How close will it be? You might have to worry more about the hot gases from the chimney burning nearby branches.
    Nice - firebricks to make our ovens, and firebrick (lager) to enjoy our ovens.
    Picasa web album
    Oven-building thread

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    • #3
      Re: Build under a tree?

      You may want to reconsider having the chinmney opening up to a comustable source. If you look back on the early threads of CanuckJim he notes that a wel ltended fire with a bit of a choke on the entrance (he has a metal door that lets about 2 inches of air in from the bottom of the door) will get the fire going like a locomotive.

      I have seen his fire when it is going and this is the way a fire should be roaring. Scarily big! What you see out of the stack is NOTHING. That means the fire is stoichemtrically brurning the fuel, fuel turned into gas not too lean and not to rich (causes for smoke). It is also extremely hot. If you ever rode on an airplane and looked at the exhaust of the jet engine , you don't see it, rather you see the distortion of the hot exhaust. This is what you will see from a well tended WFO. Anything over the outlet will get singed and possibly get lit off.

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      • #4
        Re: Build under a tree?

        I can attest to Patrick's assessment of building under a tree, the tree can turn to toast from the hot gasses. I have a queen palm that I need to keep the frons trimmed high on the oven side; same goes for the oak that is off to the right and behind the oven. I have had no issues with the oak, but I did scorch a frond on the palm that had sagged a bit low.
        Both trees are plenty far away and diligent trimming keeps them safe

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        • #5
          Re: Build under a tree?

          if this is the tree I am thinking about it has a root system similar to an oak tree. The roots are shallow and somewhat exposed. Do not build over or cover them or the tree will die. You say you have an area farther away from house? Water and electric doesnt look like it would be a huge problem in your yard sp gp for it. I say build it and they will come. Where the fire is located is where the party is located. Also solar lighting works quite well and can be obtained fairly cheap and water can be carried in a bucket.
          Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste
          like chicken...



          My 44" oven in progress...
          __________________________
          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/s...ally-6361.html

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          • #6
            Re: Build under a tree?

            Chop it down! Build the oven!
            GJBingham
            -----------------------------------
            Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

            -

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            • #7
              Re: Build under a tree?

              Yeah there you go, wot he said. I chopped down a huge nut tree to build my oven - and then you get a bunch of free firewood as well.

              I felt pretty bad about the poor tree to begin with, but having my oven in the ideal position near the house is well worth it. And the aditional sunshine is nice, too.

              Actually the next-door-neighbour's tree is fairly close to my oven now. Its roots should be safe, but some of the branches may suffer... which is just too bad.
              "Building a Brick oven is the most fun anyone can have by themselves." (Terry Pratchett... slightly amended)

              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/p...pics-2610.html
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f9/p...nues-2991.html

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              • #8
                Re: Build under a tree?

                Just a thought here from the ovens point of view instead of the trees'. How will root growth affect the structural integrity of the concrete pad the oven is built on?

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                • #9
                  Re: Build under a tree?

                  roots are not a friend to a slab. If the tree doesn't die the roots will keep growing and push the slab right out of the ground. Take a walk down the city sidewalk and you will see areas of concrete pushed up. If you plant the wrong type of tree near your house you can really damage your slab over the years. There should be nothing growing under your slab. Avoid this at all cost.
                  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste
                  like chicken...



                  My 44" oven in progress...
                  __________________________
                  http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f6/s...ally-6361.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Build under a tree?

                    Originally posted by CajunKnight View Post
                    roots are not a friend to a slab. If the tree doesn't die the roots will keep growing and push the slab right out of the ground.
                    Some trees are friendly - like a flowering pear. Silver Maple's on the other hand are EVIL!!! I would not plant one of those things within 100 yards of anything. They should even be outlawed by the arbor society. (Bad experience)


                    Les...
                    Last edited by Les; 05-24-2008, 11:56 AM.
                    Check out my pictures here:
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/les-build-4207.html

                    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Build under a tree?

                      Thanks for all the great responses! After some consideration, we've decided that we can probably move the whole thing about ten feet farther from the tree, which puts it right on the edge of the drip line. That puts it a good twenty feet from the trunk of the tree, so it should be well away from the big concrete-pushing roots. I will take a look at hanging branches, too--thanks for the heads up on that point!

                      CK, the hackberry is (I think) more closely related to elm than oak. It's not what we would have chosen to plant, but of course the tree is older than I am. We actually have three of them, and they're pretty nice shade trees. (We did plant one more, and went with the swamp white oak for that. We'll probably never see it big, but somebody will enjoy it!)

                      Ed

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