How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

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How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Pam Sinclai » Wed, 20 Sep 2000 04:00:00



Quote:

> When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
> tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
> maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

> This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
> as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

> Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

Generally speaking, the recommended distance for planting a tree adjacent
to a house (or any other permanent structure) is the spread of the crown
at maturity. This is primarily to allow sufficient air circulation and to
avoid overcrowding of the branches, but it does tends to coincide somewhat
with the spread of the root system as well. This rule of thumb does not
hold true for all trees - fastigiate or columnar forms can be planted
closer, provided they do not have invasive root systems and some trees'
roots are just too aggressive to risk planting them close. Many trees'
roots, when encountering an obstacle such as a foundation, will just turn
away in another direction. FWIW, I have never seen or heard of a
foundation being damaged by a maple's roots.

Pam - gardengal
PNW zone 8

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Elmer E » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 12:52:46


When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Jessi » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:55:00


Quote:

> When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
> tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
> maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

> This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
> as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

> Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

It depends very much on the specific tree.  With most trees,
the root system is pretty much a mirror image of the canopy,
so it's the spread, not the height that's most important.  I
would research the variety, determine its spread at
maturity, half the diameter, add a bit of footage for good
luck, and plant away.  

Of course, there are probably a lot of exceptions to this
rule -- I doubt a lombardy poplar limits its roots to its
diameter, but this should work with most shade trees and is
certainly a good way to plant a maple.

If your maple is overhanging your house, you might want to
check into your neighbor's claim.  I would call an aborist
to have a look at it, however, before having at it with the
chainsaw. (And, if it does have to come down, it's best left
to a professional anyway.)

--
Jessie
ex-PA (z.7), ex-NYC (z.6), now MN (z.4, brrrrr!)
entwold at att dot net
------------------------------------------------
note the spamnot trap

"Thoreau never mentioned the icky little bugs." - City Boy

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Paul Onsta » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
> tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
> maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

> This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
> as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

> Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

He's not correct that it's apt to cause foundation problems but a tree too
close to a house can do a fair amount of damage given sufficiently high
winds (broken and fallen limbs, or even the tree itself).

  -Paul

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by BJWakela » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
(Elmer Eng) writes:
>When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
>tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
>maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

>This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
>as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

>Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

In my opinion, maple trees, especially soft maples. should be illegal in city
limits.
The roots are very invasive. They will lift sidewalks and driveways and distort
foundations.  I say get rid of it.

Bob
www.lds.org
I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of
fruits: Ecclesiastes 2:5

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by David Hil » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


I was always told that you shouldn't plant a tree any closer to a building
than the final height of the tree.
--
David Hill, Abacus Nurseries, South Wales,
www.abacus-nurseries.co.uk
 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by BeeCroft » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


The old rule of thumb was to plant a tree one foot away from the foundation for
every inch in diameter the mature tree would grow up to be.

Tom

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by S. Jankalsk » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


Don't use willows near a house or a drainage field. Their roots are very
invasive.

Scott R.

Quote:


> > When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
> > tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
> > maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

> > This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
> > as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

> > Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

> It depends very much on the specific tree.  With most trees,
> the root system is pretty much a mirror image of the canopy,
> so it's the spread, not the height that's most important.  I
> would research the variety, determine its spread at
> maturity, half the diameter, add a bit of footage for good
> luck, and plant away.

> Of course, there are probably a lot of exceptions to this
> rule -- I doubt a lombardy poplar limits its roots to its
> diameter, but this should work with most shade trees and is
> certainly a good way to plant a maple.

> If your maple is overhanging your house, you might want to
> check into your neighbor's claim.  I would call an aborist
> to have a look at it, however, before having at it with the
> chainsaw. (And, if it does have to come down, it's best left
> to a professional anyway.)

> --
> Jessie
> ex-PA (z.7), ex-NYC (z.6), now MN (z.4, brrrrr!)
> entwold at att dot net
> ------------------------------------------------
> note the spamnot trap

> "Thoreau never mentioned the icky little bugs." - City Boy

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Elmer E » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


You are right that a tree should be planted away from a house by basing on
its final height, as I have just searched the internet, and the
University of Texas (Arlington) supports that position (although
University of Texas (A&M) states that the tree distance from a house
should be half the final height of a tree.

Anyway, I have also found out that my tree is a silver maple and its
root system is considered invasive towards sewer pipes and concrete
founation.

As it stands, the top tree branches are overhanging the top of my
2-storey hosue roof. In the upcoming winter, the snow and ice might
cause the branches to rub against the shingle.

Therefore, it appears that the tree should be removed, although it is
disappointing to cut down this beautiful & healthy tree which has been
providing shades to my house during the hot summer days.

Thank you for the suggestions of you and others.

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Bill Wagn » Thu, 21 Sep 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>Therefore, it appears that the tree should be removed, although it is
>disappointing to cut down this beautiful & healthy tree which has been
>providing shades to my house during the hot summer days.

Go real slow on this until you MUST act.  Things can change.

Meanwhile start another tree further away in case you have to take it down.

Bill

--
Zone 6  South Jersey USA Shade
It is difficult to be self motivated when told what to do.

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Paul Onsta » Fri, 22 Sep 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

> You are right that a tree should be planted away from a house by basing on
> its final height, as I have just searched the internet, and the
> University of Texas (Arlington) supports that position (although
> University of Texas (A&M) states that the tree distance from a house
> should be half the final height of a tree.

Sounds like a good formula.

As an interesting sideline to tree placement near houses, and in areas of
cold winters, it is best to plant deciduous trees on the west side. This
saves both on heating and cooling bills: during hot summer afternoons, the
house is in shade, but in the winter (leaves gone) it receives sun.

Conifers are fine on the north side. The south side is already taken care of
(without trees) since the summer sun is very high in the sky, and in winter,
low. Just what you'd want.

  -Paul

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by Karen Thomps » Sat, 30 Sep 2000 04:00:00


speaking of willows and drainage fields, I'd like to plant one in my
backyard.  I have a septic tank, but the site I'd like to plant the
willow in would be downhill and at least 40 ft from the tank itself.
Is this OK, or will the roots being heading for the drainage field
anyway?
Karen

On Wed, 20 Sep 2000 17:48:56 -0400, "S. Jankalski"

Quote:

>Don't use willows near a house or a drainage field. Their roots are very
>invasive.

>Scott R.



>> > When I bought my house about 12 years ago, the builder had a maple
>> > tree planted 13.5 feet away from the front wall of my house.  This
>> > maple tree now is over 30 feet tall.

>> > This evening, my neighbor told me that I should cut down the tree,
>> > as its roots could damage my house concrete foundation (and ba***t).

>> > Is he correct?  Any comments would be appreciated.

>> It depends very much on the specific tree.  With most trees,
>> the root system is pretty much a mirror image of the canopy,
>> so it's the spread, not the height that's most important.  I
>> would research the variety, determine its spread at
>> maturity, half the diameter, add a bit of footage for good
>> luck, and plant away.

>> Of course, there are probably a lot of exceptions to this
>> rule -- I doubt a lombardy poplar limits its roots to its
>> diameter, but this should work with most shade trees and is
>> certainly a good way to plant a maple.

>> If your maple is overhanging your house, you might want to
>> check into your neighbor's claim.  I would call an aborist
>> to have a look at it, however, before having at it with the
>> chainsaw. (And, if it does have to come down, it's best left
>> to a professional anyway.)

>> --
>> Jessie
>> ex-PA (z.7), ex-NYC (z.6), now MN (z.4, brrrrr!)
>> entwold at att dot net
>> ------------------------------------------------
>> note the spamnot trap

>> "Thoreau never mentioned the icky little bugs." - City Boy

 
 
 

How Close Can a Tree be Planted Close to a House?

Post by sunflowe » Sat, 30 Sep 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
> speaking of willows and drainage fields, I'd like to plant one in my
> backyard.  I have a septic tank, but the site I'd like to plant the
> willow in would be downhill and at least 40 ft from the tank itself.
> Is this OK, or will the roots being heading for the drainage field
> anyway?
> Karen

I consider 40 feet to close, personally. Those roots travel an amazing
distance. And its a very expensive mistake to make.  One that may not show
up for 10 years or so.

Sunflower