Friday, May 14, 2010

How far from my foundation should I plant this small tree?

I am doing some foundation planning and have settled on a crape myrtle that will grow 7-10 feet at maturity. How close can I plant this to my house without having to worry about its roots and my foundation?

How far from my foundation should I plant this small tree?
There are three basic sizes of crapes - small medium and large. if you have one of the smaller ones (i do in my backyard) i'd plan on about 6-7' out. I don't believe they have a real agressive root system but i understand your concern. The ones in my hard are only about 3-4 feet off my house but i wish they were a few feet more because the branches hit my gutter, giving critters an access into my gutters. One thing to remember - crapes branch up up up and then out.
Reply:The general 'rule of thumb' for most trees is 5 metres (approx 16 ft) from the house and this is for large trees. Even if it gets to 12ft it really isn't a large tree. Crepe myrtles do not have particularly obnoxious roots, so if yours is only a medium one at 7-10 feet I wouldn't worry too much if it was quite close to the house its really only medium shrub size.

I agree with the answerer about the 'crepe myrtle murder' syndrome. It's been recognised as a waste of time for producing flowers and has been gone for years but the people with tree phobias still keep this monstrosity making habit going.
Reply:I agree with everyone on the root system. I don't think you have to worry about your foundation.

The distance you choose from the house will allow the tree to form its canopy (branching) properly. The closest to the house I would consider is 6-8 feet. Ideally 10 or more.

If it comes down to pruning... again, I agree with almost everyone else. Proper pruning goes a long way to making your landscape look good, longer.

Good luck
Reply:Are you sure this tree only gets 7-10'? I have them all over my yard and I had to transplant 2 I had in the front of my yard.

Depends on how you want it to look years from now.

Also a lot of people create "Crape Myrtle murder". This is when someone clips the tops of the trees about this time of year. That is not the correct way to prune a Crape Myrtle. Select the main branches of the tree, all of those little brances can be cut off, but actually the tree really doesn't need pruning at all.

But back to your question. This tree's branches WILL probably

reaches out a good 15 ft from the middle of the tree. I would go out 20' from the house. Just so it looks good when it is mature.

Some people, not all, can't visualize the tree at maturity, so they plant it right next to their house.

Crape Myrtles don't have a "mean" root system either. Not like Maple, Oaks because they don't get huge.

Hope this helps.

And if you pull it out of the ground you will have some little ones come up and you can transplant these as well.

Happy gardening!

1 comment:

  1. Are there any Red varieties that mature at 10 feet? That could be planted within 4' of a house? I have seen several that were not as tall as a shade tree, that grew up straighter and slender and seemed to be well contained, almost as an accent tree, that are not real bushy at the top.