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philmy 09-22-2012 04:32 PM

Tree/house--Planting distance
How far should one plant shade trees from house? 5, 10 or 15 feet or <.. It may be a big leaf maple or similar in size.

Thanks for any help.

oh'mike 09-22-2012 07:30 PM

Chrisn! This is up your alley---

As a home owner with a few maples---See how big the proposed tree will be when grown and plant it far enough from the house that the branches can't touch the house----with a big leaf maple---I'd guess 18 to 20 feet---

user1007 09-23-2012 08:11 AM

Not to upstage Chrisn forthcoming comments.

No need to guess. Ideally you want to plant trees to allow for the future maximum growth of their crown. You can look this up, probably online, or in a tree guide at the library. Your municipal arborist may have free tree planting guides. The nursery label on the tree will have the information or ask a real nursery or tree farm person.

A tree like a red maple grows 59-89 feet tall and about 40' wide so you would want to plant it at least 20' from the house (half the diameter of the fully grown crown) to eliminate danger of future limbs from threatening the house.

Exceptions? There are trees that might have smaller crowns but extremely invasive root systems. They need to be planted further from the house, or better yet, no where near it. Pick a better suited species.

And even for dwarf and small trees, with smaller mature crowns, you want to be sure to plant them far enough away from the house or fence that you can get around them to prune, spray and otherwise maintain them.

Planting trees and shrubs too close to the house is a big and potentially expensive problem and the biggest mistake homeowners and even professional landscapers make. I know it looks funny to have a tiny trees with thin trunks so far away but it is the way to plant them. And the healthiest.

Slightly off topic but remember that trees cannot prune themselves. Pruning a tree early on and through its life will improve its health and save you lots of money in tree surgery/arborist bills down the road. Your first pruning should be the day you plant new trees. If nothing else, get rid of crossing branches, those that are hanging down and any water shoots that are not real branches.

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