What Happens When Trees Are Close to Your Home?

Trees are beneficial to humans, society, and the environment. Like good neighbors, they make the surroundings more peaceful and charming. It’s no surprise that a lot of people want to plant trees near their houses. While they are wonderful, their roots can spread out under the soil. Planting at the wrong distance can cause a lot of damage to your property. 

Here are some risks that you should be aware of before jumping into your next tree planting project:

Soil Damage

Roots always grow far downwards through the soil. They spread underground as they look for water and nutrients in the soil. When they spread and extend farther into the ground, the soil becomes affected by them.

If the soil in your yard is mainly composed of clay, it will become denser as the roots spread out. Moreover, roots expand whenever they absorb water. Likewise, tree roots shrink when the soil is dry during drought season. This means that weather conditions affect the soil’s structural integrity.

Foundational Issues

With strong roots and branches, trees need enough space to grow and thrive. When planting trees on your property, make sure that they won’t encroach on your home. Trees with deep and insidious roots will likely cause significant damage to your foundation. If a tree is too close to a concrete slab, the roots can lift and crack the surface. The concrete foundation and structures become imbalanced and dangerous. When the foundation already has cracks, the roots may penetrate through the crevices and fissures.

Roof Damage and Clogged Gutters

Branches near your home can scratch against your roofing. During the fall season, dead leaves and twigs will end up in your gutters, which may lead to clogging. A tree that is too close to your home will cause damages to the exterior of your home. Aside from this, toppling trees and falling branches can result in bigger problems when storms occur.

Drainage Problems

Before you plant new trees or relocate mature trees, it’s better to know where your drainage or septic line is. Since there are trees with extensive root systems, they shouldn’t be planted too close to drainage pipes. Large roots will continue to spread out and increase in size. As they grow horizontally, they might come in contact with underground sewer lines.

The root growth will obstruct water flow and increase the risk of clogged sewer lines. You will end up spending money on fixing your damaged plumbing system and water pooling on your property.

What You Need To Know About Root Spread

When planting trees, you need to know the root spread of the tree. The roots can grow up to two or three times the tree’s height. They will also spread up to three times the crown’s width. Another thing to remember is that roots move toward areas where moisture and oxygen are available. Always consider the root spread as they may infiltrate plumbing systems and damage patios, driveways, and more.

If you have limited space in your yard, choose a smaller tree instead. Another option is choosing trees like oaks and sugar maples with slower rooting tendencies.

How Far Should a Tree Be Planted From Your Home?

First, you need to determine how big your available space is. This will help you know if you want a small or large tree. Size is the most important factor that you need to consider when planting a tree. As a general rule, trees closer than 10 feet to your home pose a lot of potential damage to your property.

  • Small trees (shorter than 30 feet) should be planted 10 feet away from your home.
  • Medium trees (shorter than 70 feet) should be planted 15 feet away from your home.
  • Large trees (taller than 70 feet) should be planted 20 feet away from your home.

By following these guidelines on tree placements, you can keep your trees a safe distance away from your foundations and landscape features. Feel free to ask for a reliable tree service company to help you avoid any issues in the future.

Schedule a Tree Service Appointment

It’s important to provide tree care to keep them healthy and safe. Midstate Tree Service of Harrisburg is here to handle your tree problems, big or small. Call one of our tree specialists and we will answer your inquiries!