Tree Root System Impact on Concrete and Foundation, Part 3

In parts one and two of this multi-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on the impacts of tree roots on property concrete surfaces and foundations. While tree roots too close to the structure risk stealing moisture from the soil beneath these surfaces and causing significant issues, proper placement may actually benefit your drainage system and, therefore, your concrete surfaces and foundation.

At Lift Right Concrete, we’re proud to offer a wide range of commercial and residential concrete lifting and leveling services, including for many concrete surfaces impacted by tree root infiltration. In today’s final entry in our series, we’ll dig into specific tree species – which have extensive root systems that often risk foundation damage? Which, on the other hand, are ideal for planting on properties that have had such issues in the past?

tree root impact concrete foundation

Invasive Root Tree Species

Especially if your property has undergone tree root-related foundation or concrete damage issues in the past, there are a few tree species we do not recommend planting due to their extensive root networks. Such species include:

  • American Elm: Some of the most moisture-obsessed trees out there, American Elms are known for invasive root systems that are happy to reach into areas like drain pipes, sewer lines and related areas.
  • Willow: Down similar lines to the elm, willow trees cannot get enough moisture in their roots. They often grow into irrigation ditches or sewer lines on properties. In addition, their roots are typically shallower than other tree types, meaning they may risk lifting foundations or other concrete surfaces.
  • Silver Maple: Another shallow root tree is the Silver Maple, which should not be placed near foundations, driveways or sidewalks.
  • Hybrid Poplars: Fast-growing trees, these poplars also have shallow root systems that risk raising.

Tips for Invasive Species Planting

If you must plant one of the species listed above, or another you know has an invasive root system, here are some general approaches to take:

  • Never plant any tree within ten feet of the home’s foundation, or even within 25 feet for invasive species.
  • Plant all trees at least 10 feet, and often further, from patios, sidewalks, driveways and other concrete surfaces.
  • Consider root barriers if trees are planted close to the home.

Ideal Tree Species

And on the flip side, here are a few tree species that have manageable root systems for properties that have dealt with previous foundation or concrete issues:

  • Bronze Loquat
  • English Holly
  • Fraser Photinia
  • Olive tree
  • Australian Willow

For more on how trees and their root systems interact with your foundation and concrete surfaces, or to learn about any of our concrete lifting and leveling services, speak to the staff at Lift Right Concrete today.

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