Smart Strategies for Tree Planting, Trimming and Maintenance

My name is Georgia, and I love to write. As an avid gardener, I have spent hours writing about gardening, but in this space, I wanted to turn my attention to trees in particular. I recently added a number of fruit trees to my garden, and I have old oaks in front of my house which have suffered and survived through a range of mishaps. If you want to learn ideas for taking better care of your trees, you have stumbled onto the right blog. Welcome to this space, please explore and share this blog with your friends if they inspire you.

How to Protect Your Property from Marauding Tree Roots


Above ground trees often serve to beautify yards and neighborhoods, even adding value to the properties they share the space with. Below ground however, depending on the species, the root systems of those majestic trees could very well be about to cause untold damage to your property. According to Colorado State University Extension, tree roots can spread to occupy an area two to four times the diameter of the crown. 

The wrong tree then, planted too close to a property could block sewer lines, lift up pavements and driveways, and even damage the foundation of your home. 

If you are worried about the trees on or near your property, the following information will help you to decide on an appropriate course of action. 

What Type of Soil Is It?

Examine the soil your tree is planted in. In general, soil comes in two primary forms: clay, and loose. As tree roots are driven by the need to seek out nutrients and water sources, they push outwards from the tree, breaking through anything that stands in their way. Clay soil is compact, making it difficult for roots to push through the soil. Soil that is made of mostly loose soil and rocks will provide little resistance to hungry tree roots. 

Is There Enough Room?

Ensure that your tree is 12 feet away from any hardscapes in the area, such as patios, or pavements. Most damage occurs within the first six feet, where the roots are thickest and closest to the surface. While root systems can stretch up to forty feet from the trunk, the further they grow the less damaging they become. 

Does Your Property Have a Deep Foundation?

If your property has a full basement, this means it also has a deep foundation and is well-protected against shifting soil. As tree roots grow they displace the soil around them, especially dry soil, which is found in arid climates, and this displacement puts strain on buildings and their foundations. 

Employ a Root Barrier

You can purchase root barriers in several materials, such as fiberglass, plastic and permeable materials like mesh screen. Solid or mesh materials tend to be the most effective at keeping roots at bay. If you think the foundation of your property may be at risk, you may have to dig a trench right down to the foundation of your home or building in order to install the root barrier. As you dig you can also cut any roots that may be approaching the foundation, but make sure you understand exactly how to do this without killing your tree. 

Sometimes, the only way to save your property from extensive damage is to hire an arborist like If you wish to keep the tree, they will advise you on the steps needed to do so. They will also safely remove the tree to protect your property should there be no other alternative. 


21 July 2016