Xenomorph Root System


This is not an H.R. Giger design for the Aliens movie franchise. It was under the landscaping in front of my house.

My house is relatively new, having been first inhabited in 2015. As a consequence, I have to live with some of the choices of the previous homeowners. At the time I bought, the housing market was tight and competitive so I accepted some compromises that I might not normally accept. One of these compromises was the choice of trees and bushes in front of the house.

I'm reluctant to change the plants that came with the house I bought due to the necessity of getting the approval of the HOA. Also, the cost, time, and effort. All the tree species in front of the house send out root runners to reproduce vegetatively. This causes a plethora of shoots and if left unattended, young trees, to crop up around the yard. This violates the HOA rules.

I looked online for an easy way to deal with this situation, but the usual course of action is just to dig up the ground and cut all the root runners. You can expect to have to do this periodically. This turned out to be a few hours of work. I had to rake off the gravel xeriscape, cut through and peel back the weed barrier, and then dig and cut with loppers and an axe to get rid of the roots. I put more weed barrier over the gaps before raking the gravel back over it. I don't really want the trees to die but if they do I won't grieve too much. I'll just get a tree company to remove the stumps and plant different species, subject to HOA approval. Ones that don't send out root runners.

Unfortunately I promptly injured my left rotator cuff during this process, and it isn't healing. Pretty disappointing. I've tweaked both rotator cuffs many times before back when I was running whitewater in a kayak, but this is worse. It's especially disappointing since I had been lifting dumbbells one or two days a week for months precisely to avoid this scenario. I'm not sure if I wasn't lifting enough or if lifting more would just have resulted in a similar injury.

The perils of aging.


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