The purpose of tree roots is to provide the leaves with water and nutrient salts. They are controlled in their growth by hormones, causing them to form a dense network of fine roots in loose, moist, nutrient-rich areas to develop these water and nutrient reserves.
Depending on the tree species, they are more or less aggressive. Willows in particular are famous for their flat roots that easily extend.
The roots of willows often cause damage to the foundation of a structure when they have no other means of propagation because the roots always take the path of least resistance, i.e., the loosest soil.
The best protection against damage caused by tree roots is therefore a sufficiently wide root space.
In addition, special attention should be paid to the roots of willow trees, not only because they can cause damage to the foundation structure of your house, but also because the roots could damage the neighboring property, you should be aware of the proper distance to avoid any inconvenience.
Do willow trees have invasive roots?
willow is not a very suitable tree to plant next to others or near a fence because of its roots. It should be understood that there are some trees that spread their roots vertically or horizontally.
The weeping willow is one of the trees that spreads its roots horizontally and needs a lot of soil to be able to spread them and develop well, which means that it is more of a solitary tree than anything else.
It is also not suitable for planting near the house as the foundations could suffer due to the expansion of the roots. It is, therefore, better to plant it in a place where it will not disturb either its branching or the development of its roots.
How far away from a house should you plant a weeping willow tree?
It is a known fact that weeping willow roots need a lot of space. Weeping willow develops a shallow root that develops a densely branched root system.
Therefore, you must have a property of considerable size and enough space for the tree to be away from the house. A distance of 20 meters from the house and other structures should be maintained.
Also, weeping willow should not be planted near roadsides. The roots run directly under the surface and develop enormous strength. As a result, pavement slabs can be lifted.
Weeping willow needs a unique position, the massive plant will not leave room for other plants to grow. Choose as sunny a spot as possible. Weeping willows are preferred at the edge of the pond.
There they not only look particularly impressive and expressive but also find ideal growing conditions. In addition, they offer the pond attractive sun protection.
Weeping willows grow quickly and are therefore not suitable for underplanting, as they form a dense shade canopy.
With its strong roots, the weeping willow supplies itself with water and nutrients, thus depriving the plants in the immediate vicinity of the basis of life.
How fast do weeping willows grow?
Weeping willows have a life expectancy that is comparable to us humans. The trees grow up to one meter in height for the first twenty years. Older trees only grow around half a year.
Michigan State University says the Thurlow weeping willow achieves an annual growth rate of approximately 18 inches ( 45.7 cm). Because weeping willows grow very fast, their wood is extremely brittle.
This characteristic limits the average life span of the tree to no more than 30 years.
Can you stunt the growth of a willow tree?
To limit the development of willow roots, two things can be done:
1. Do each a significant pruning of branches, the fewer branches the tree has, the fewer roots it will have. There is direct correspondence in this.
If you have a willow tree with a small crown, the roots will be contained, because more, they are useless, there are no leaves to feed; it is self-regulating, it could be a labor-intensive task, but if done at least once a year it can work.
2. Make a trench a little more than half a meter deep that goes all the way around the tree (a ring). Separate 3 or 4 meters from the trunk. The thick roots that appear will be cut. Then the trench is covered again.
Which trees have the most invasive roots?
It is important to choose trees without invasive root systems. Common trees with invasive roots include:
Silver maple (Acer saccharin) due to its shallow roots, do not plant silver maple trees near sidewalks, driveways and foundations. In addition, it may also inhibit the growth of other plants, including grasses.
Elm Trees-American elm trees like moisture, so they often invade drains and sewers.
Willow (Salix sp.)-Similar to the elm, they also like dampness. Among the willows that cannot be planted are Austree, Corkscrew and Weeping. Because of their thirst for water, they invade irrigation ditches, sewers and septic tanks. They also have shallow roots, invaded foundations, sidewalks and other paved surfaces.
Hybrid poplar (Populus sp.)-These trees are popular because of their rapid growth. Although they cannot be good landscape trees, they are valuable as a fast energy source, pulp and wood. The roots of trees are very shallow, and their lifespan rarely exceeds 15 years.
Are there any tree roots that are good for the foundation?
Surprisingly yes, trees usually have huge root systems distributed over considerable distances. Depending on where you live, there may be certain benefits.
Drain: In areas with excessive rainfall, trees can help absorb the extra water.
Stabilize the soil: If the surrounding area is sloping, extensive root systems can help prevent erosion.
Despite these benefits, strategic measures must be taken in landscaping-including new and old trees. Consider installing a root barrier for those tree roots that are already close to the house.
Overestimate the distance required for each sapling when planting new trees. Study the maximum height of the trees planted and multiply this number by three. This can avoid any connection between the root system and the foundation of the house in the future.
Prevention and repair of root damage to the foundation
Don’t touch it
If there is a tree on the property and there is no sign of damage, then leave it alone.
Do preventive beautification
This is a cost-effective way to avoid tree damage. The following measures can be taken:
- Prune the roots of the trees to prevent the trees from growing to the roots.
- Avoid planting shrubs or trees near the foundation.
- Plant suitable trees in the yard (those with non-invasive root systems).
- Avoid planting trees that require a lot of water or trees with roots growing horizontally, such as oak trees
- Install the root barrier
When you can’t remove the tree, the only option is to block it with roadblocks. Root barriers help to avoid foundation settlement because they control the growth of roots near the roots.
Typically, tree root barriers are overlapping plastic panels to help move the roots away from the foundation.
Install drip irrigation pipes
If the trees next to the house seem to be sucking up the surrounding soil, add water to the area around the bottom of the tree trunk. In order for the irrigation drip irrigation pipe to be effective, install it a few inches below the soil surface .
If the prevention method fails, digging the tree will be the only option. Because digging a tree is dangerous and may hit the house, it is best to let a professional do it.
Is the weeping willow poisonous?
Many hobby gardeners have rumored that willows contain toxins. The willow bark contains small amounts of acetylsalic acid. However, this does not pose a risk to humans or pets.