Can spruce tree roots damage foundation?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by BettyS, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. BettyS

    BettyS New Member

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    Mechanical weathering of rocks by tree root wedging is frequently described in geology. Could the same thing happen to a house foundation?
     
  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    There are so many variables that could impact your own particular situation but, I can tell you that a 50-foot-tall spruce hedge planted about 20 feet from the foundation never was a problem in the 30 years we lived in our previous home.
     
  3. BettyS

    BettyS New Member

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    Thanks. I guess in geology the root wedging only works on pre-existing cracks in the rock.
     
  4. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Older topic. But it all depends on whether there is somewhere for energy to go. Roots can only withstand about 170 lbs. pressure per square inch. So how many square inches of root have contact. Also, rocks may wedge apart to the side easier than roots lifting weight of a building upward.

    A small skinny root or some big ones can't lift a building which is far more weight than a sidewalk. Sidewalks raise because the 170 psi range isn't even close to the limit there.
     
  5. BettyS

    BettyS New Member

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    Interesting info.,
    "Roots can only withstand about 170 lbs. pressure per square inch" Thanks!
     
  6. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    I have that information more in depth on this page link about the Achilles Heel of Redwoods, but related to coast redwoods.

    Redwood Root Growth. Roots and Trunks of Redwoods.

    Pretty sure the math is close enough.
     
  7. BettyS

    BettyS New Member

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    Amazing....I love redwoods!
     

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