Last Updated on February 7, 2019 by Daniel Cooper
With home renovation season getting into full swing, it is the ideal time to start thinking about your outdoor space. If you ask the experts, they will tell you that now is the perfect time to plant shrubs and trees so that you can create a beautiful garden for your home.
Not only do trees and shrubs add beauty to your property but they also serve a number of other purposes. They provide an effective noise barrier and create privacy in your garden, helping to make your outdoor space more relaxing and inviting. Before you start planting, however, it is important to remember that trees can do a lot of damage if they are planted in the wrong location or if they are not well-suited to the environment. Here is a good guide on tree roots and buildings.
Tree roots extend out a surprisingly far distance from the tree, robbing the surrounding soil of moisture. NHBC, one of the top home insurance providers in the UK, advises homeowners to follow the tips below to keep the odds of property damage occurring to a minimum:
Trees that are planted in clay soil can cause the soil to shrink. Similarly, taking out trees or shrubs that are already growing in the area can cause the soil to expand. Choose a location that is far enough away from your house any time you are planting new trees. To determine the right distance, take the estimated height of the tree at full maturity and multiply it by 0.75. This is the minimum distance away from your home that the tree should be planted.
To determine the recommended planting distance for trees that have a high demand for water, multiply the height of the tree at maturity by 1.25. Trees that fall into this category include willow, oak, elm, poplar, Cypress, and eucalyptus.
Climbing vines like Virginia creeper or ivy should not be planted near the walls of the house. As they climb over the surface of the house, they can trap moisture and can cause harm to the mortar. These types of vines should be located at least 9 feet away from the structure.
If you are thinking about getting rid of a fully grown tree on your property, talk to the planning authorities in your area. Some regions have tree preservation programs in place that prevent trees from being cut down.
Make sure there is plenty of room for the trees to grow. This not only includes the trunk of the tree but also the roots. Don’t forget to consider underground features like drainpipes or small structures like sheds or garages.
Before planting a tree near your neighbor’s property, consider getting their permission. Even though it isn’t required, it is always a good idea. Keep in mind, if your tree causes any damage to their home, you are responsible for covering the resulting costs.
Keeping trees that grow quickly or that have high water demands pruned can help minimize the total amount of water that they draw from the ground.
Don’t allow the soil level around your home to go any higher than the damp proof course. Although this level can vary, it is usually about the height of two bricks or 150 mm. If you install any pathways near your home, their height should also be below the damp proof course. The only exception is in areas where they level up to facilitate access to the home. Talk to the builder of the property to learn more about where the damp proof course is on your home. Any ventilators, perpend vents, or air bricks should be kept free from obstructions.
Even if you live in an area where rain is common, you should make sure that your shrubs and trees get enough water – especially right after you plant them. This is particularly important in areas where the rain is blocked by nearby structures.