Tree Roots and Sidewalks - Knowledgebase Question

San Ysidro, CA
Question by aperez6
December 19, 2001
I am planning to plant a tree in my front yard. I am considering a maple or aspen; will the roots of these trees damage the sidewalks, which are about 12 feet away?


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Answer from NGA
December 19, 2001

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I'd select a Japanese maple. These are shallow-rooted trees, but the roots are not as troublesome as some of the larger and more notoriously surface-rooted maples. These trees need a soil that is humusy and cool as well as evenly moist, yet well drained. They benefit from a layer of several inches of organic mulch year round, spread out to cover the entire root zone. This makes growing lawn beneath it unnecessary, but if you do grow lawn there, you shouldn't see roots at the surface.

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