Don’t Plant Trees Too Close to Your Home


Your home is a curated oasis designed by you and your backyard is a big part of it. The right combination of lawn, bushes, shrubs, and trees can create a calming environment. However, you don’t want to plant trees too close to your home. Instead, you can search for “tree service near me” and let them assess your property before planting trees. Let’s check out why you shouldn’t plant trees too close to your home.

The Reasons

  1. Twigs and leaves – If you live in the north-western part of the country, rain and storms are common events. Rainy days are accompanied by strong drafts that carry over lots of leaves and twigs and accumulate them in your yard. If your tree is planted too close to your home, those leaves, and twigs would start accumulating in the gutters and on the roofs instead of being blown away.

When gutters are clogged with twigs and leaves, they don’t allow molten snow or rainwater from flowing down. This can lead to siding and roof damage. That’s why the tree needs to be planted at a certain distance away from your home. This way you can minimize the time you spend on the ladder cleaning your roof and gutters.

  1. Structural damage – While researching trees for your property you’ll come across thousands of varieties of both native and exotic trees. When you narrow down your choices enough to be in the single-digit, you need to figure out the fully mature height of the tree. This gives you a clue about the root spread of those trees.

Any tree has a very complex root system. You don’t want those roots to extend dangerously close to utility lines or near a foundation. Those roots will exert a tremendous amount of pressure as they grow, and this can cause serious damage and leaks. If your tree manages to grow over several decades its strong roots would push against the foundation of your home, create cracks and induce other types of damage that will threaten the structural integrity of your home.

Tree roots usually spread and cover around twice or thrice the size of its canopy. Sometimes they can also grow deep roots that are deeper than the trunk. Certain species like Norway Maples, Silver Maples, Cottonwoods, and Willows have very aggressive roots and should always be planted considerably far away from utility lines, sidewalks, foundations, and other such structures.

If your property isn’t big enough for the safe placement of large trees, then you have to look into species that have a smaller fully matured height and canopy spread. You may need to rethink your list of trees and make adjustments. You may also need to assess the root system of existing trees on your property and install a root barrier or have those trees cut down if they have invasive root systems.

  1. Limb damage – Even if you maintain your tree and make sure to check its health, strong windstorms can weaken large branches and make them crush on your home. In the best case, you may end up with broken windows and in the worst case, you have roof or wall damage. However, that’s not the end of it.

If there is a serious weather event, it may uproot and topple your tree. If the tree is too close to your home, it can cause serious damage and even cause loss of life. Even if there are no deaths, you don’t want serious injuries on you or a family member due to a tree being too close to your home.

The risk is increased if the tree is diseased. Some species even have weak wood that is easily invaded by pests and gets hollowed from the inside out. They are more fragile and can even fall on your home without the extra push from weather events. That’s why you want trees as far away from your home as possible.

  1. Soil moisture fluctuation – Trees can make the moisture levels in the soil fluctuate drastically. This happens since the root system always absorbs certain levels of moisture from the ground to keep the tree alive. That means the soil is expanding and contracting multiple times throughout the day. This can weaken your foundation, cause cracks, shift and weaken the structural integrity of your home.
  1. Settling concrete – When concrete settles, it can shift and crack. That’s expected and accounted for during construction. What’s not accounted for is a tree being planted too close to your home. The strong and large root system of the tree can worsen the impacted concrete foundation, concrete sidewalk, and other nearby structures.

If the shifting is significant enough due to natural reasons and expanding roots, it can destabilize your foundation and bring down your home or other nearby concrete structures very quickly. That’s why assessing your property is very important before planting a tree.

  1. Size of the tree and its distance from your home – So you know that you shouldn’t plant a tree too close to your home. That means you need to figure out how big of a tree you can plant in your yard and how far away it should be from your home.

If the tree is small with a fully matured height of 10 feet or less, it should be around 16 feet away from your home. Trees with a matured height of 15 to 20 feet should be planted over 25 feet away from your home and those that grow larger than 20 feet should be planted even further away.


It’s very important to know the size of your yard and choose the right tree for your property. It can’t be too big or too close to your home to threaten your safety or endanger your property. You can search for “tree service near me” and hire local arborists to figure out what kind of tree you can plant on your property and how far they should be planted from your home.

Comments are closed.