Are There Trees and Shrubs that Can Cause Damage to My House?

Posted on May 11, 2017 6:00:00 AM by Stephanie Morgan

Are There Trees and Shrubs that Can Cause Damage to My House? | The Experienced GardenerWhen you decide to add plants to your yard you need to think about more than just aesthetics. The aesthetics are important but you also need to think about how the plants will grow. This is important, especially for large plants like trees and shrubs, because they have the potential to cause damage. Some types of shrubs and trees can cause major problems for your home if they are planted too close. Three common types of damage that can result from trees and shrubs in your yard include plumbing problems pest infestations, and structural damage.

Plumbing problems

Some types of shrubs have roots that grow shallow and wide. When you plant these types of shrubs in flowerbeds near your house they can get into your plumbing and cause problems. They can cause major issues by cracking or busting pipes as they expand toward your house. If you discover the issue on time then you will have a plumbing problem to fix. However, if you do not discover it right away and it leaks over and extended period of time you could end up with bigger problems-such as foundation issues.


Any type of plant, shrub, or tree that is touching your house can lead to pest problems inside your home. This is because many types of pests are attracted to plant material and when those same plants touch your house it may provide them with easy access. Termites are one type of pest that can infest your home via a shrub or tree. For example, if you have wood debris from a tree or shrubs near your house it can attract termites. The termites in turn may notice the structural wood of your home and move in. Trees that touch your house can also allow climbing pests inside. A branch that leads up to your roof line is just what some pests need to gain access into your home.

Structural damage

Most people have seen a sidewalk that is buckled up due to a tree root that grew underneath it. Think about that same tree root underneath the foundation of your house. It can do extensive damage to the pluming and foundation of your home if it is growing too close. When the foundation gets damaged it can lead to problems on the inside of your house as well such as cracked walls, uneven floors, and damaged systems.  

Clearly there are trees and shrubs that can become problematic for your home if they are planted too close. If you are thinking about adding these to your landscape take some time to learn about how they grow. You can even talk with a local lawn and garden professional to gain insight into the best options. A little research about the plants you are considering can save you money and frustration in the future.

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Topics: Gardens