Are My Tree’s Roots Going to Hurt My Foundation?

Trees can be a majestic and beautiful addition to your front yard. Kids love to play in them and they provide shade on hot, sunny days. However, tree roots can be a problem if they weaken the foundations of your home. If you want to plant a tree in your yard or are concerned about trees already growing there, you can take some precautionary steps to protect the foundation of your home.

Is My Foundation in Danger?

The type of tree, its proximity to the house and the type of soil are all important factors in determining the danger a tree presents to a home. Pine trees do not endanger a home, because their roots grow straight down. However, other trees like oaks and elms have root systems that spread out and suck a lot of water out of the soil. This drying of the soil can cause it to collapse, which is one of the dangers that roots can cause. They can also break through the foundation over time.

If your house is slanting in the direction of a nearby tree, there is a good chance that the soil is collapsing due to lack of moisture. If there are cracks in your foundation, you may also be suffering damages because of tree roots. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to mitigate the dangers that roots pose.

  1. Root barriers. You can create a barricade of overlapping plastic that can divert roots away from your home.
  • Select the right species of tree. Generally speaking, slower growing species are less hazardous to the foundations of your home. Also, be careful how close to your home you plant the tree.
  • Trim the roots. You may need to do some pruning of the roots. Remember that some trees have roots that are two or three times the height of the tree. Just because a tree is not right next to your home does not mean that it poses no threat.

With a vigilant eye and a little elbow grease, you can protect the integrity of your home’s foundations without having to get rid of a beautiful tree in your yard.