How far does a tree need to be from the house?
July 9, 2009 3:20 AM   Subscribe

How far does a tree need to be from the house?

I'm planning on planting one of these. Canopy size is up to 6.4 metres, and from my research it seems the root ball is about the same size. How much further from the house does it need to be to ensure no root damage?
posted by fistynuts to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: suggests that a horse chestnut should be 15 metres. However, it may be worth telephoning your insurance company as some of those have regulations for distance of trees from houses, and I am sure I have seen the figure 20m.
posted by handee at 4:43 AM on July 9, 2009

It's common here to have 100-year-old+ trees growing 6 or 8 feet away from a similarly aged house. This allows the tree to throw good shade onto the house, now a nice efficiency and in the days prior to air conditioning even more appreciated.
posted by john m at 4:55 AM on July 9, 2009

Response by poster: awesome handee, thank you
posted by fistynuts at 5:05 AM on July 9, 2009

Plant the tree at least as far from the house as its eventual height.
posted by sevenstars at 5:24 AM on July 9, 2009

Beware not to plant it directly over or nearby sewer laterals, water service lines or any other utilities coming into the house.
posted by JJ86 at 5:28 AM on July 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

The answer depends on what sort of soil you have around your house to some extent. For example I understand that there is often more concern if you have a clay soil because, in dry weather the soil is liable to shrink and put stress on your foundations. If you have a tree sucking up more water from the area then this makes the shrinking worse. Finally if you live in an area where it is frequently dry then your tree may develop a large root system then it would otherwise.
posted by rongorongo at 5:52 AM on July 9, 2009

Also keep in mind that a horse chesnut will drop prickly seeds the size of a baby's fist all over the place. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to fish out of the gutter without gloves on.
posted by electroboy at 6:24 AM on July 9, 2009

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