Industry News: Tree Risk Assessment

Q: Two Little gem magnolias were planted 2 feet away from my house. Will their roots be a problem?

Monday, January 4, 2016  

My house has two "little gem" magnolias planted close to the front door. They are 2 feet away from the house and about 10 feet tall now. I am concerned that their roots could post a problem for the foundation in the future. I am thinking about cutting them down. Any advice? Thanks.

A: Although little gem magnolias are considered a dwarf, in the tree world that could mean a quarter of the size, which could be 20 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Roots aren't so much of a problem, as they are are constrained by space. But, if it is a slab foundation or any kind of foundation on the ground, it could pose a threat later on. Since it just seems to be too close to the house for a root barrier, that seems to be out. My recommendation, if possible, is to transplant them to another part of the landscape for use as a screen or accent. Otherwise, I would remove them.


Responder: Rick Zampino, RCA #416, Fairview, TX