Green Giant Arborvitae next to house?

mathteachApril 8, 2007

I have a bare, 2-story brick wall on the side of my new house (no windows). Another two story house will eventually be built in close proximity to our house. Could I plant the Green Giant next to that wall? If I plant them 5 or 6 feet from the wall, would that be sufficient space? Would they disturb the foundation of the house? I think they would look great next to our Italian style house, but don't want to create problems.

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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Does grow into a tall tree, much bigger than 12 feet across eventually. One of the parents in the cross has produced specimens over 250 ft. tall in the wild.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 7:25PM
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spruceman

If the foundation of the house is really sound and does not have any cracks where moisture can collect, there should be no risk to the foundation. I have a healthy respect for trees and the damage they can do, but sometimes I think we are too afraid to have them close to houses. If a tree is well cared for and healthy, there is not much risk. I have seen very, very large trees right next to houses without any apparent problem. In Arlington, VA on 15th street near the Arlington Hospital there is a house with what may be the largest sycamore tree I have ever seen growing within two feet of the foundation of the house. This tree is really magnificnet--it has four trunks and must be 145 feet tall if it is an inch, and the total diameter of the combined tree must be well over 8 or 9 feet. The house must be 65 years old and if there has ever been a problem I never heard about it.

Not far away is a tuliptree that must be 8 feet in diameter and again about 145 feet tall and it is no more than 10 feet from a house, problem--I never heard of any.

--Spruce

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 10:24AM
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pineresin

A lot depends on the soil. Clay shrinks when tree roots take moisture out of it; this can cause serious subsidence damage to the building when shallow foundations are left unsupported by the clay beneath them shrinking. Sand by contrast doesn't shrink, and subsidence problems on sandy soils are very rare.

If you have clay soil, and foundations less than a metre deep, don't plant trees closer than 5-10m away (even more, 30-40m away, for high water demand trees like willows and poplars). If the foundations are 2 metres deep, that's below the maximum rooting depth for virtually all trees, then you can plant much closer to the house without risks.

Resin

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:11AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I am definitely no expert but just adding a thought that came to mind while reading this post. Root problems aside, would having a giant tree six feet from the house wall cause problems with the branches rubbing against the house? Or perhaps no air circulation between the tree and the brick might encourage the brick to discolor (mold?)

Just curious as my parents had a giant willow on the side of their garage and it seemed like a constant struggle to trim the tree so that no branches rubbed against the siding. Eventually the tree grew taller than the garage but still looked sort of pushed against the building.

Just thought IÂd post to encourage feedback as the person may not have thought of this aspect.

Glen

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 4:54PM
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spruceman

Glan:

Good point--this can be an issue. I think a weeping willow is one tree that is not good next to a house. The weeping branches/twigs can droop onto and rub on a porch roof, and when branches are cut away, they resprout and replace themselves rather fast. Conifers once trimmed away from a house wall or roof tend to stay away.

Other trees that grow more upright and develop high arching crowns that are high over a roof are better. The giant sycamore tree I spoke of in my post above was very, very high above the house. The problem I saw with that tree was the potential for the huge trunk to increase in diameter so it would begin to actually touch the house. If that happpened I think the owner of the house would probably cut away and redesign the eves of the house to make room for this wonderfully stunning tree.

--Spruce

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 8:30PM
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wisconsitom

I've got two decent sized arbs ( not GG's ) right next to my house. I love the trees and for me, it's been a simple matter to do the modest amount of pruning necessary to keep them off the roof, out of the gutters, etc.

+oM

    Bookmark   April 13, 2007 at 1:02AM
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conifers

Listen to Resin. He a smart cookie.

P.s. In my childhood a weeping willow was a long ways away from us and our neighbors, the tree was extremely large as we all have seen with these. It was eventually cut down as it's roots traveled under the streets and found their way to a main water line (nowadays new construction water lines are made of PVC [plastic] which from what I've been told by building contractors won't be succeptible to damage, large trees may be planted above such they say)... anyway, be aware that a Green Giant is just as vigorous as a weeping willow as bboy states.

There's no way, ever, I'd plant any tree near with this 'magnitude' close to a home.

- Dax

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 8:56AM
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yahaira

what should I do for this winter ? if I want to plant my tree in a planter since I don't have a backyard but I don't want the tree to dye.
Any recommendations?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 4:39PM
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