How to Stop Roots from Growing into Foundation

As a tree owner, it’s easy to become distracted by how impressive your specimens look when fully grown and forget about the sometimes troublesome roots that come with them. They can travel far and wide beneath the surface, causing havoc on your underground construction.

As Girard’s tree removal company, we at Starwood Tree Service know a thing or two about balancing outdoor aesthetics while safeguarding a property. Read on as we cover the many ways how to stop roots from growing into foundation structures!

Top Indicators You Have Tree Roots Damaging Your Foundation

Don’t wait for your foundation to crumble before taking action. Watch out for common red flags, such as:

  • Vertical cracks in your walls
  • Cracking flooring
  • Unexplained plumbing issues
  • The surrounding ground or pavement has buckled
  • Your entire foundation has slanted

Minimizing Further Structural Damage

Even if you haven’t encountered any of the above warning signs, you can save yourself costly repairs down the line with proactive measures.

Steer Clear of Problematic Tree Species

Do you plan on planting a new tree near your building? We recommend avoiding varieties with invasive roots, including:

  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • American elm (Ulmus americana)
  • Willows (Salix sp.)
  • Poplars (Populus sp.)

If you’re dead set on having one with invasive tree roots, most arborists advise planting them 25 to 50 feet away from your home or business.

Install Quality Root Barriers

One of the easiest ways of how to stop roots from growing into foundation structures is a root barrier. It’s an underground wall sandwiched between the root system and your foundation. You can choose from chemical designs, which secrete a repellent to discourage root growth, or physical barriers like metal plates and flexible plastic membranes.

Maintain Your Property

Existing cracks in your foundation provide an easy entry point for roots. Make sure to seal any gaps or fissures with an appropriate material and regularly check on your property’s condition.

You should also keep an eye on your plumbing system. Most of your pipework lies beneath the ground, and even the smallest breach can leak moisture and nutrients that attract tree roots. Some indicators of damage include:

  • Rising utility costs
  • Erratic water pressure
  • Random wet spots in your yard or puddles in the basement
  • Off odors

Water Your Tree, Especially During the Drier Months

Regularly watering your tree helps it stay hydrated and stops the roots from searching for moisture elsewhere. You can also install an irrigation drip line that runs from the trunk to the edge of its root system. This ensures that only targeted sections receive essential moisture.

Regularly Trim the Specimen

Strategic pruning helps control the size of a tree’s root system. It also reduces competition for resources and gives your plant a more beautiful shape. Keep in mind that you must observe proper standards when removing branches, as it can weaken the specimen when done incorrectly.

Remove the Tree

When all else fails, you can opt for complete tree removal. This is a drastic measure, but it saves your property from severe damage in the long run. You also free up the area for a better-suited replacement tree, compatible shrubs, flowerbeds, or decorative hardscaping.

Seek Expert Assistance

Most of these solutions require the help of a certified arborist to ensure safety and efficiency. Our veteran crew at Starwood Tree Service has helped countless property owners with their problematic greenery, including addressing concerns about tree roots above the ground, and we hope to do the same for you. Call (330) 231-5022 for more insight. We also encourage you to browse the rest of our blog for useful info like common tree-cutting mistakes and basic landscaping tips.

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