Tree near house

Asked November 6, 2018, 2:36 PM EST

Hello - I am looking to plant new trees along the south side of my house for shade. The site is very tight and I'll need to plant the trees about five feet from the foundation. I am concerned about possible root damage to my home which has a below grade basement. What is the risk of root damage with the following trees? Quercus palustris ‘Pringreen’ GREEN PILLAR ™ COLUMNAR PIN OAK Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’ COLUMNAR EUROPEAN BEECH Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’ COLUMNAR HORNBEAM Thank you! Dan

Multnomah County Oregon forestry urban forestry

1 Response

I am a forester and not an expert on ornamental trees planted near buildings. But I will offer a few ideas.

First, it is best not to plant any large tree 5 feet from the foundation. Smaller trees or shrubs would be better. If you are going to plant larger trees near the building, much depends on the quality of the foundation. If it is a well constructed basement with solid vertical walls in the rooting depth zone, then it is unlikely that tree roots will cause problems. While roots cause problems growing under sidewalks or under shallow concrete structures, a smooth solid foundation wall should be OK. If there are cracks in the concrete or shallow footings for your foundation, then there is more chance for tree roots to cause problems.

For more detailed information on the tree species and cultivars that you listed, please consult with an arborist or other ornamental tree experts.