The Q&A Archives: Location of Trees to house

Question: How far away from our house must thuja (any variety) be planted to protect our foundation? Is 10-15 ft too close?

Any suggestions for a 25ft+ tree or hedge/bamboo that could grow within 12- 15 ft of our house, and be planted right up to a wall and fence surrounding our house: a narrow growing variety is essential.

We live in Zone 9. Santa Monica, near the ocean.
Thank you.

Answer: Thuja 'Pyramidalis' reaches only 2-3' in diameter at maturity so it can be planted within 6' of your foundation (you'll want some room for good air circulation). That would be my first suggestion. Other Thuja's may need more room. When you're looking up their descriptions, simply add 3-4' to their overall width and you should be able to plant that close to your foundation without worrying about invasive roots. As for tree suggestions, here are a few:
Acer plantanoides 'Columnare' grows 50' tall and about 20' wide; it can be pruned to keep it narrower. Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata', the Columnar hornbeam, reaches 35' tall and 15' wide at maturity. Populus alba 'Pyramidalis' (white poplar) grows upright to 45' tall and 15' wide. Populus nigra 'Italica', the Lombardy poplar, has a mature height of 60' while remaining 15' wide. Or Populus tremula 'Erecta', the
Upright European aspen, reaches 40' tall and 15' wide.

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