The Q&A Archives: Pine Tree Roots Close to House

Question: We're purchasing a new home and recently discovered a few roots above the ground from a nearby pine tree. The trees
are not fully grown, but I was puzzled by the appearance of the roots above the ground since I thought pine tree roots grew down. The tree is less than 20 feet from the house. Should we be concerned? The inspector saw no signs of foundation damage and it is a twenty year old home.

Answer: Based on the tree's distance from the foundation, there is probably no need for concern.

Pines trees do have a tap root but like all trees, have many lateral roots. Roots appear on the surface of the soil as they grow in diameter, forcing what was a thin, shallow root above the surface. They also surface as erosion washes away soil, exposing the roots.

Thanks for the question and best wishes in your new home!

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