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Anna
Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11381
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I have two trees, one

Customer Question

I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida. I have two trees, one in the front yard, one in the back, both within 15 feet of the house. The roots of both trees have grown and risen out of the ground, particularly within the last couple of years. Though I have seen no evidence of the roots impacting the foundation, plumbing, or other parts of the house, I am concerned that since the roots are growing away from the house, they are also growing toward (and into?) the foundation.
I have always called the trees Indian Hawthorn, but when I search these online, i see only flowering, shrublike plants.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome.My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in trees. I would like to help with your question.

You are right to be concerned. Trees with shallow roots that come up through the ground are most likely to eventually cause problems. I suggest that you try to dig down to the roots nearer to your house. I realize it;s dark now, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow. You should be able to find some at about 6 inches since they are coming up in other places. I would do this in two or three places. Let me know if you find roots in any of these places, and how deep they are. I'll watch for your reply tomorrow morning. Thank you.

Anna

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your response. I am currently away from my home, but will return within a week. I will get my shovel out next weekend and get back with you then.

R. Hardy

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for getting back to me. We can't decide what to do until we know if the roots are actually a problem. I'll watch for your response next week.

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

It appears you haven't had a chance to check on the roots. I'm going to go ahead and give you some information without knowing if the roots are near the house. It's usually safe to assume that a tree's roots extend underground as far as its branches do above ground.Here is a link to a forum for engineers and building inspectors, where they talk about the problems associated with trees being too close to buildings:

http://www.inspectorsjournal.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3200

Some people will cut off roots far away from the trunk of the tree in hopes of eliminating problems. Such pruning simply stimulates more root growth outward from the pruning cut. Pruning closer to the trunk will result in branch dieback because water and nutrients cannot be transported as well. Death of the tree can even result. If you find small roots too close to house, you can prune them back, then bury a metal barrier (sheet metal) as deep as the roots extend to prevent them from growing back near the house. Of course, another solution is to remove the trees.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I hope it will turn out the roots are not near your house.

Anna

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