Everyone loves the look of a majestic tree in the front yard or supporting a tree house in the back, but it’s not always the best idea to plant them so close to your home’s foundation. While they provide valuable shade and fresh oxygen, trees can also pose some risk to your home’s foundation The Risk of Tree Roots Under Your Foundation if they are planted too close to the base.
Roots are in constant search of water and nutrients, so they can grow continuously and impact the composition of your soil. This can cause settling or cracking in your concrete foundation and other building materials.
Some trees are more prone to damage than others, particularly those with shallow and fast-growing roots. This is why it’s important to identify your soil type before deciding on a tree that will be a good fit for your home.
If your soil is sand-like, it’s less likely to shift and become unstable, making it an ideal spot for tree growth. It’s also important to understand that a soil test isn’t necessarily accurate for identifying the potential impact of tree roots on your home’s foundation, but it does provide information about native soils like shrink-swell capacity and unusual drying from a severe drought.
In addition to identifying the right soil for your landscaping, it’s important to choose the correct species of tree that will be most beneficial to you. Some types of trees have deep roots that can extend far down into the soil and are therefore less likely to cause problems with your foundation.
Other varieties of trees have lateral roots that are more likely to affect your foundation. The best way to determine if a tree is a good fit for your property is to consult an arborist or a landscape designer.
A root barrier will divert roots away from your foundation and prevent them from affecting the soil underneath your home’s foundation. You can purchase these barriers at most home improvement stores.
The process can take some time and be a little messy, but it’s worth the effort. This will help prevent damage to your home’s foundation, driveways, and sidewalks.
When planting trees, be sure to plant them at least 10 feet from your home’s foundation. If you’re not able to do so, then install a root barrier.
Some people choose to eliminate the roots of problematic trees, while others plant more robust, non-invasive trees with smaller and slower growing roots. These trees are generally better suited for spaces near foundations and pipes.
The only time that cutting down a tree is necessary is when the roots are damaging your home’s foundation. Otherwise, you may want to install a root barrier or consider other options for landscaping.