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Wall plantings and foundations

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Ocutter, Nov 30, 2000.

  1. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Went on a landscape est during the summer and the customer asked me if that was a good idea (pointing to a blue atlas cedar right up against the house). I immediately said no. "The roots will go into the foundation wont they". I said they probably will. Ive also seen Magnolias in the same position. I realize that those plants will have to be moved in 3-5 yrs but I never really heard of any probs. with roots going into the foundation. Have you?
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    They won't dig their way into concrete, if that's what you're asking.

    Whenever there is a place where there is a solid surface next to soil, it's a place where either water or air (or both) will collect, which means it's a place roots want to be. Now I have heard of tree roots finding these spaces and sending fine feeder roots into seams in sewer or water lines, which then grow and crack those lines. So, if there's a seam or hole or crack in the foundation, then it could be serious. And, there are some plants that have roots that are just really muscular by nature. Locust roots can get under concret patios, walks, drives and pop them up like they were styrofoam.

  3. mattingly

    mattingly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 136

    Magnolias, especially grandiflora and virginiana, can tolerate being planted right next to the house.
  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Most people worry about roots and not the head of the plant, when you design try to think 5 to 6 years down the road. How wide will that plant get? how tall? what windows are going to be in the way? By the time the roots are a problem the plant will have to be trimed three or four times.

    I love those people who plant spruce right next to their house in 5 years it's been trimed up about 3' and is one sided. :) 5 more years and they are cutting it down.
    Then they cram in a bunch of yews and junipers, put down that ugly red stone and plastic edging.

    If they want instant effect give them color, flowers, ground cover, perennials, ornamental grasses, any thing but that same old look.

    Ok just ranting

  5. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Actually I was asking if the concrete gets invaded by the roots. I kinda figured that the black coating they blow on the foundation would hold the roots back for a time. Just didnt know if it was ever a problem even in older homes. Thanks

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