Are you thinking of adding trees to your yard? If you have paved surfaces on your property, it’s important to get the placement right. After all, the root systems of some trees can damage driveways, sidewalks, patios, and terraces, so make sure you plant them far enough away that they won’t cause issues.
When in doubt, ask a landscape designer for help spacing your trees properly. In the meantime, use this helpful information to decide where to plant trees relative to paved concrete surfaces.
Understanding Different Root Systems
Trees usually have one of two root systems—deep taproots or shallow lateral roots. Deep roots seek water and nutrients far underground, while lateral roots spread horizontally near the surface to absorb water dripping from the canopy.
As you might guess, lateral roots are the ones you need to worry about damaging paved surfaces. Planting them too close to concrete-covered areas is also bad for the tree since it can’t receive the water, oxygen, and nutrients it needs to survive.
When shopping for trees to add to your Southwestern home, first find out what type of root systems they have. This can help you avoid planting trees with lateral roots in the wrong locations.
What Trees to Plant Near Paved Surfaces
Examples of deep-rooted trees that should be safe to plant near sidewalks and driveways include:
Then, here are examples of trees with lateral roots that should not be planted near sidewalks and driveways:
How Close Can You Plant?
Even a tree with deep roots shouldn’t be planted too close to paved areas. If you hope to avoid surface damage, the general rule is to plant trees a certain distance based on how tall the tree will grow. This distance should be at least 10 to 20 percent of the tree’s mature height. For example:
- A tree that grows up to 30 feet tall should be planted at least 3 feet from the edge of a concrete slab.
- 30- to 50-foot trees should be planted at least 5 to 6 feet away.
- Trees over 50 feet tall should be planted at least 7 to 8 feet from the sidewalk or driveway.
If you’re still unsure what type of tree to plant or where to plant it, turn to Moon Valley Nurseries for help. We offer landscape design services and professional tree planting to help transform the yard outside your Southwestern home. Our team would be happy to offer advice about planting trees near paved surfaces. Plus, we guarantee every tree we transplant, so you can rest assured that your investment will grow! To learn more about our services, please contact us today. You can also visit one of our Southwest US locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, or Texas.