We’ve all seen those beautiful old brick homes that have ivy and plants growing all over them. It’s a beautiful site but it’s terrible for the house. There are several reasons to plant trees near the house but remember, they weren’t there when the house was built. Trees, shrubs, bushes, and vines can definitely overtake places quite rapidly and before you know it, that trees too big to prune. Here are some things to keep in mind with trees and shrubs close to the house.
#1. How close should it be?
Of course a tree looks better just 10 to 20 feet from your house than it does 30 to 40 feet and still get some shade on the house which could result in energy savings, but the closer the tree is and depending on its root systems, it could dig into your foundation and literally damage the structure of your house.
It’s important to plant large deciduous shade trees on the east, west, and Southwest sides of your home to shade the house but avoid planning them to the south with a can block the warming winter sun. Trees and shrubs can act as a wind tunnel to direct breezes into the house but be sure to limb the branches high enough to allow the breeze to pass under the tree.
A good rule of thumb is to remember that roots grow between one and three times the width of the canopy of the tree.
#2. Trees that touch the siding of the house leave the home susceptible to pests and water damage.
Limbs, bushes, tree branches, and vines all carry water and pests. If they touch the siding of your house, water can leach between the siding and cause mold and mildew in the walls of your home. Plus, pests have easy access underneath siding slats and can create nests in your walls or damage the house from the inside out. Verify that there are no bushes or trees that actually touch the siding of your house. If so, prune them away from the house at least 6 to 12 inches.
#3. The soil can damage your foundation.
If you plan to shade tree to close to your house you can have mechanical damage such as damage to your foundation or utility lines. Trees can also make the soil moisture fluctuate due to taking water up the trunk and this can cause problems when that soil expands and contracts causing stress to your foundation.
#4. Limbs or trees can fail.
Probably the most obvious hazard to having a tree too close to the house is from a falling branch or limb. Branches can fall and break the house or do some serious damage to windows and siding.
Just make sure that any trees or large bushes are at least 10 to 30 feet away from the foundation of your house. Smaller bushes that don’t get very high can be placed closer but again, regardless of its size, no trees, bushes or branches should be touching the side of your house or any structure that you don’t want to get wet or damaged.
Read More: How to prune hard to reach branches
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image By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons | Daderot at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons