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Thread: Trees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Trees

    My husband and I purchased our first home three weeks ago and have high hopes of finishing the basement. However, the previous owner planted small trees on the two front corners of the house about 3 ft from the foundation. They are approximately 6 ft in height and I am not sure the types. They are very attractive but I am afraid they are too close and might damage my foundation. What do you think I should do with these trees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,078

    Default Re: Trees

    The root ball on most trees is about the same diameter as their canopy. If you can determine what the trees are, then you'll be able to gauge what the roots are going to do. There are some trees, such as a mulberry that can extend large roots beyond their canopy that can split foundations and cause all kinds of other problems.

    I personally don't think that a dwarf/small tree should be any closer than 10' to a structure, larger trees should be at least 15' to 20' away. This allows mature trees to grow without impinging on the house and root systems should not be of concern. Another common problem is planting trees over sewer, water, or power lines. It's never a good idea to plant a tree where it can interfere with municipal systems or overhead power lines.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: Trees

    First thing is to find out what kind of tree it is. A good picture of the tree and leaves should allow any good nurseryman to tell you.
    Second, 3 feet from the building is probaly too close for even most dwarf trees. The canopy will eventually be into the house.
    I'm guessing the previous owner put them there for curb appeal when selling the house.
    A small tree like that should be fairly easy to move in the early spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Trees

    Howdy consider a consoltation with an arborist to determine if you cna benifit from relocating the trees further from the home.. Or after you have a locator check to ensure no burried utilities grab a shovel and relocate them further away from the house or do nothing an when they become a problem address them for more $$$$

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sparks NV
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Trees

    We took out a cottonwood last February that sent out a root estimated at least 60 feet, that went under the foundation 8 feet down, lifted up a floor slab in the basement and exited out the other side of the house in two points. This 16" tree was about 30 feet from the house. I think your first priority is finding out what kind of tree they are, secondly how close to sewer and water sources they might be.
    That said, the arborists we consulted about an herbicidal root barrier found a product used in urban environments to protect structures such as sidewalks, curbs, underground water and sewer piping. It is something like landscaping fabric, 24" to 36" wide, with a growth inhibiting hormone incorporated in it. You could trench down along your footings, being careful not to undercut them and hang a length along the wall of the excavation low enough to intersect the zone where roots might invade. Any root that grows in that direction will encounter the hormone and simply stop growing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: Trees

    Thanks for the fabric root barrier information i will use it.

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