Liquidambar Tree Roots - Knowledgebase Question

Huntington Beach, CA
Question by donzylstra
February 10, 2003
I love you web site references for trees. Would you recommend one of your Liquidambar tree over another for the Huntington Beach area (< 1 mile from Beach)? We intend to use the tree as a focal point in the front yard, which is a grass lawn app. 20 feet by 20 feet. What is the best way to avoid invasive roots, or is this a problem at all? Is 10 feet from the house and street too close?

Thanks for any advice.


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Answer from NGA
February 10, 2003

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Liquidamber doesn't have a reputation for having invasive roots - not like willows, for instance, but roots will gravitate toward sources of water, so keep the tree away from septic systems and drainfields. The growth habit of liquidambar is perfect for a front or back yard. Since the mature height and spread of this tree is about 60' tall and 25' wide, you'll be better off planting the tree about 25' from the house. If you don't have quite that much room in your yard, why not plant one of the smaller Japanese maples instead? Most have attractive branch patterns and many have leaves that change colors in the autumn (one of the characteristics of liquidamber). Good luck with your new tree!

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