The Q&A Archives: About Raywood Ash

Question: Hello,
Our house is west facing, so we get a lot of sunlight in the evenings in the summer. We have a white magnolia tree on the sidewalk, which provides a lot of shade. I am thinking of planting a few more trees for more shade. I like the Raywood Ash, but before I buyt it, I want to clear some doubts. Is it ok to plant it about 10 ft from the house? Will it cause any problems to the foundation? How fast does it grow? We need shade for 2 upstairs rooms which have windows to the west.
Thanks much.

Answer: Raywood Ash is a very fast growing tree. In landscape situations it usually reaches 25-40' high with a canopy spread of about 25' at maturity. The roots should not be as great a concern as the branches. If the branches grow to rub against the house, it will damage the tree and perhaps the house. If you keep the tree at least 20 feet from the house, this should be sufficient to avoid problems. This is farther than the branches will spread because this tree has a very upright growth form. The extra distance beyond the ultimate branch spread will help dissipate heat from the west side of you home, helping the tree to establish and grow. The roots will extend much farther from the trunk than the branches; however, if your home has no leaks under the foundation, the roots will not grow in the dry soil under the house. The worst that would happen is that the roots will grow up to the foundation and then run parallel to the foundation. It is possible that in time the roots can apply great pressure to the foundation, but if you keep the tree far enough from the house (at least 20 feet in this case), this is not likely to damage the foundation.

Hope this answers your questions!

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