The Q&A Archives: Root Expansion For Yews

Question: i want to plant yews in the front of our house, my husband is concerned about the roots of the yews causing a problem with the basement walls how far away from the house should i plant the shrubs?

Answer: Yews are traditional foundation plants set at a typical space of about two feet or so from the building. They need to be out far enough for rain to reach their roots. Their roots would not normally be a problem unless there is already a weakness in the wall, in which case their roots will find it and possibly make it worse. If you are worried about the foundation, you could plant perennials or a groundcover along the side of the house, a walk next to that, and then put the yews outside the walk. The visual effect from a distance is nearly the same as a foundation planting would be. Make sure to leave ample room between the shrubs and the walk.

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