Ficus Tree Roots - Knowledgebase Question

Edinburg, Te
Avatar for menazenaida
Question by menazenaida
March 25, 2010
I want to plant a ficus tree in my garden but I am hesitating because I've read that the roots are very problematic and can even break house foundations. On the other hand, I've seen these trees growing in my neighborhood close to houses and sidewalks without any evident damage to any of these structures. Would it be safe to grow one in my garden? I live in Zone 9.
Thanks in advance.

Answer from NGA
March 25, 2010
Photo by treehugger
 Ficus tree roots do have a reputation for behaving badly. They can and do invade foundations and as they grow and mature they can develop surface roots. I wouldn't plant one anywhere near a sidewalk, driveway or house, just to avoid future problems. Even though you see them growing near homes and they appear well behaved, you don't really know what is going on below the soil surface. They could be growing under the foundation or making little hairline cracks in the concrete and the damage won't show up for years. But when it does, it can be an expensive proposition. I like the look of ficus, but I'll admire it from a distance rather than take a chance and plant one in my yard. It's your decision, though.

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