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.
- 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.