ROOT GROWTH OF A DWARF SPRUCE - Knowledgebase Question

Buffalo, NY (Zone 5B)
Question by susanwillet
July 26, 2007
I WAS JUST WONDERING WHAT THE ROOT GROWTH OF A DWARF SPRUCE IS.. THE PLACE WHERE I WAS PLANTING IT IS NEAR THE HOUSE FOUNDATION AND A DRAINAGE PIPE.


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Answer from NGA
July 26, 2007

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Dwarf Alberta spruce is often used as a foundation plant, although over time it will become too large for that type of spot unless regularly pruned. Shrub roots generally do not cause problems with foundations unless there is already an imperfection in it; the roots will exploit any small gap and could make it worse.

If the roof gutter downspout drains into that spot, it would be better to put on an extender to direct the water away. This would help protect your foundation from moisture damage and also prevent the soil from becoming overly wet. If the soil is saturated/sopping wet and/or goes from very wet to rather dry between rains, this can damage plant roots.

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