Trees That Can Cause Foundation Wall Cracks

Trees That Can Cause Foundation Wall Cracks 

Are you planning your landscape? Trees provide great value to a landscape. However, they can also cause damage to your foundation. Planting trees close to your foundation can result in foundation wall cracks. However, does this mean that you should not have trees if you have a small lot? 

While most trees can damage a foundation when allowed to grow near the foundation, some trees are more prone to causing damage than others. These are the trees that you should avoid completely especially when you have a small lot. These trees have roots that grow fast and spread out. They, therefore, are more likely to cause foundation wall cracks. These trees include: 

1. Oak trees 


The wide canopy of the oak tree makes it an attractive choice for a landscape. These trees are considered slow-growers. However, they can be massive when they reach maturity. These enormous trees require a large root system to support them. While they have a deep taproot, they also have lateral roots that grow horizontally in all directions. These lateral roots can be damaging to foundations. 

2. Ash trees 

Like oak trees, these trees also have a deep taproot as well as lateral roots that grow from the tap root. Their lateral roots spread far across the surface soil as well as the subsoil. These roots are large and can be especially damaging to foundation walls. 

3. Poplar trees 

floor cracks (2) - stablwall carbon fiber

These trees have a rooting system that consists of both deep and shallow roots. The rooting system doesn’t grow well in compacted soils. The roots typically look for loose soils to grow. Foundations are therefore especially susceptible to damage from the roots of these trees. When the roots find any gaps or imperfections in your foundation, they will take advantage and move in. As the tree roots grow, they will widen the gaps resulting in wall cracks. 

4. Spruce trees 

Spruce trees have roots that prefer soils that are rich in humus. The rooting system is therefore often shallow. The roots of the Norway spruce for example cling to the surface of the soil and spread out wide. These trees also have a deep root that penetrates the deeper parts of the soil to provide support for the tree. These deeper roots don’t only grow down into the ground but also spread wide. Spruce trees can therefore cause damage from ground level and deep below the ground. 

If you have a small lot, avoid planting any of the trees listed above to protect your foundation.