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Trees/Can spruce tree roots damage foundation?

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Question
Mechanical weathering of rocks by tree root wedging is frequently described in geology. Could the same thing happen to a house foundation?

Answer
No there will be NO problem with the roots from the spruce. At maturity the tree will have a spread of about 15-30  feet depending on the species and the roots will spread out  about the same BUT unless there is a break in the foundation or the tree is right on top of a septic line the roots will not cause any problem. They have a tap root going straight down and feeder roots out from the trunk in the first 2 feet of soil. The as they grow toward the foundation will turn when they reach the solid wall. These feeder roots will cause no problem and I would think this tree is a slow grower thee and it will be a long time before the tree reaches mature size. Now you did not say how far the tree was from the house. Spruce depending on the species can have a branch spread of up to 30 feet and the problem will be the branches rubbing the house. It is best general rule is to plant spruce trees and most trees more than 20 feet away from houses to stop this from happening. Without more information that is about all I can do with this question.  

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Jim Hyland

Expertise

I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.

Experience

34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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