Why You Shouldn’t Plant Trees Too Close to Your House

A few years ago, you were focused on picking out the right bonsai tree for your apartment. Fast-forward to today, you’re working on planting the perfect tree for your dream home.

Today’s most in-demand types of trees to plant in the United States include the American Sweetgum, the Red Maple, and the White Oak. But these trees should never be planted too close to your home.

Here’s a rundown on several reasons why you shouldn’t plant a tree close to your house.

Let’s jump in!

Buildup of Twigs and Leaves on Your House

One of the biggest reasons why planting trees close to your house isn’t a good idea is that leaves and twigs will start to accumulate in the gutters and on the roof.

This is particularly true when winds and rainstorms come. However, it can also happen during the autumn season.

When your gutters in particular become filled with twigs and leaves, this can cause siding and roof damage. Clogged gutters cannot divert water from the roof, which can lead to water damage issues such as flooding and ice jams.

Also, when trees grow over your gutters and roof, you’ll have to do gutter and roof maintenance more frequently. This translates to more time, energy, and gutter and roof cleaning costs year after year.

Potential Tree or Branch Damage

Another reason to avoid planting a tree too close to your house is that a windstorm may cause a large branch to collide with your home and break a window or crush your roof.

During a storm, the tree could also topple over. This may lead to death or irreparable structural damage to your home.

Unfortunately, tree toppling can easily occur because your chosen tree may have weak wood. For instance, yellow buckeye and balsam poplar trees feature wood that is susceptible to breakage. The wood of these trees might be susceptible to attracting insects that may cause your tree’s death.

Settling of Concrete

Yet another reason to avoid planting trees close to your home is that they can cause your cement foundation to settle. This may cause the concrete to shift and crack, therefore impacting your home’s structure.

You can tell that your home’s foundation is settling if you notice support beams shifting or ceiling cracks, for example.

Note that smaller trees are generally okay to plant near your home, as the roots of these trees aren’t aggressive, so they won’t damage your foundation. These smaller trees range from crabapples to the majority of conifers and Japanese maples (more on the appropriate trees to plant later).

However, larger trees have big root systems that can easily grow and end up spreading toward your foundation. After all, tree roots can grow 1-3 times the tree canopy’s width. In some situations, a tree’s roots can also be double the tree’s height.

Trees with sizable root systems can cause damage to other vital home systems as well, including gas pipes, water pipes, electrical lines, septic lines, and communication cables.

Moisture in the Soil

When trees are too close to your house, they can also cause the soil moisture near your home to fluctuate. That’s because trees draw water out of the ground through their root systems, as they need water to thrive.

When your soil expands and contracts, this can place pressure on the foundation over time. Again, this may lead to expensive cracking or shifting.

Sewer and Drain Issues

When trees are close to your home, this may also cause sewer problems.

If deep tree roots grow through your home’s septic or sewer lines, this will increase your sewer or septic system’s likelihood of clogging. The more the roots grow and expand underground, the more they’ll damage your plumbing system.

This will lead to costly repairs to your septic or sewer system. It will also require the removal of the problem tree.

Also, let’s say your drainage system becomes compromised as a result of the tree roots. You may see water begin to pool beside your house. This can unfortunately cause major health hazards as a result of pest infestations, rot, and mold.

Tips for Planting Trees in Your Yard

If you want to keep trees from growing near your house, consider planting a tree like a camellia japonica, crape myrtle, eastern redbud, or Kousa dogwood. These trees are small or don’t have invasive roots, so you don’t have to worry about the roots spreading.

Note that the tree you plant should have a distance of 15-20 feet between it and your house if the tree can reach 25-50 feet high at maturity. For a tree that can reach 25 feet high when it’s mature, it’s okay to leave 10 feet between it and your home.

A reputable tree company can help you to decide on the best tree to plant in your yard based on your yard’s size and your personal taste.

How We Can Help with Tree Care

You should never plant trees too close to your house, as this can cause twigs and leaves to build up in your gutters and damage your roof. Branches from trees that are close to the home may also damage the home. Cement foundation settling issues might also crop up.

Fortunately, at Tree-Line Arbor Care, we take pride in offering high-quality tree care services in Albany, Georgia. For instance, we can help with tree removal, tree pruning, emergency tree services, land clearing, and stump grinding.

Contact us to learn more about our tree care services, and request an estimate today!