Q: My septic tank is being moved to the side of my house where I have fruit trees and other plants. How far away from my septic tank should these trees be located? A: Out in cyber-world there is plenty of information regarding the question of the distance between trees and septic systems. If it is possible, consider keeping the distance between the septic system and fruit trees somewhere in the middle of those numbers. It is important to remember, tree roots grow 2 to 3 times the drip line.
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It is only when trees are mature that their amenity value is maximised. Young trees can be planted but it can take at least 50 years to achieve the beauty of the one it replaced. We are losing a significant proportion of trees because of alleged association with structural damage or concern about future possible structural damage. Though an arboriculturist is best qualified to make such a judgment other property professionals can make more thoughtful decisions based on some of the considerations raised in this paper.
Suggestions for quite radical changes of approach to the whole question of trees and property are made. Whether a tree is causing direct damage to a property or not is generally obvious.
We briefly outline the ways this can occur. Whether a tree is likely to be bearing or bear any indirect influence on a property in the future is far less clear but is dependent on two fundamentals:. A realistic assessment of this is fundamental should it be deemed necessary to consider whether a tree is a threat to property or not. The NHBC has attempted to attribute trees with certain moisture uptake capacities in order to determine foundation depth. This in turn was based on a combination of his own case studies, the findings of the Kew Root Survey, significantly updated in , the experience of the BRE digest and several other older studies.
Since the amount of suction exerted by all species of trees in a temperate climate is similar this potential is largely determined by site factors. The distances and depth a root spreads is a function of:. All must be considered holistically before determining the likelihood of a tree bearing an influence on a structure.
These determinants will be explored and hopefully the flaws of any current basis of assessment highlighted and illustrated. The following illustration shows the typical structure of tree roots and it is important to be aware of this as it will prove fundamental to much of the content of this paper.
Figure 1 - Popular conception a and realistic representation b of tree root systems. Helliwell D. The ground is de-hydrated through the transpiration of leaves abstracting moisture from the ground and, less significantly, by the interception of rainfall by the crown. As a result the ground contracts and settlement occurs. Usually winter rainfall results in full recovery so that the process is seasonal.
Conversely removal of tree results in long-term recovery and often significant expansion of the ground. When structural damage has occured you should consider documenting this by getting a Chartered Structural Engineer to carry our a Structural Inspection. Identifying a tree accurately is fundamental to the assessment of its moisture or potential moisture uptake capacity.
Currently most data and reference tables refer to simply a genus such as "Willow". This does not account for the huge variation of species within a genus. There are, for example, over species within the pine family and these will vary dramatically in terms of size and ability to grow in a given situation.
A white willow will grow into a tree exceeding 30m whilst an eared willow will rarely grow beyond m. The wild cherry may become a large 25m x 14m tree whilst the sour cherry is unlikely to grow much beyond 5m.
Similarly, where a species or genus is referred to it often takes no account of cultivars within that species. Notwithstanding the fact that we do not even know what species of cypress it is, it fails to account for the fact that there are hundreds of Lawson cypress cultivars with a huge variance in size.
Conclusions about the appropriateness of one should be dramatically different to the appropriateness of the other. Removal should not be recommended simply because it is a cypress since the tree may be perfectly innocuous. Differences between two species is little known and rarely accounted for. There can be numerous different genetic clones of a species of tree. Despite being, nominally, the same tree, two say common horse chestnuts may have quite different physiological processes and, therefore, rates and patterns of moisture uptake.
This is demonstrated by P. This may explain as may many other factors why a mature tree growing close to a building founded on clay has never caused damage and would suggest that leaving the tree in-situ and not disturbing the equilibrium may be the best course of action. Figure 2 - Seasonal fluctuations in SMD at 1. Trees of the same clonal origin i.
A silver birch may thrive in an open well-drained site but the identical clone will struggle and show very different growth patterns in a poorly drained shadier site. Hence a tree that is clearly mature but substantially smaller than its expected size may not need to be removed. Many trees are grafted onto a rootstock and it is that rootstock and not the scion that will determine rates of growth and moisture uptake. It is known that roots of the same species will graft.
One must assume, therefore, that there is a theoretical possibility of a property falling within the root zone of influence of a tree whose roots could not extend as far as the property if there is a nearer tree of the same species and root graft has occurred. Figure 3 - Plan of a single lateral root of red maple about 60 year of age with circles showing other red maples Lyford W. This term describes how vigorous a particular tree is, as opposed to the species in general.
Sycamore, for example, is a vigorous species but a particular sycamore specimen may be old, suppressed or diseased and lack vitality. Crown shape, extension growth of lateral and terminal buds, apical dominance are some of the characteristics to look out for when trying to establish the health and stage of development of a tree. Poor health, poor tree-work, competition, inappropriate ground or climatic conditions or senescence are likely to result in low vitality.
This may explain why a property located close to a large old tree may show signs of historic cracking but that current movement is either negligible relative to the former cracking or does not occur.
The tree has simply grown old and is in decline and a very gradual process of re-hydration is occurring. Current formulas used consider tree height or ultimate tree height as a key element of the equation that is supposed to indicate root zones of influence.
A tree may, however, have an exceptionally tall crown but a low rate of moisture abstraction and root distribution because the actual TLA Total Leaf Area is very small. Groups of trees do not necessarily bear more influence on a property than single trees. Where trees grow in close proximity to one another resources are distributed among the trees based on physiological capacity are and they are likely to adapt growth rates in order to survive on reduced resources.
Trees may have spindly, etiolated crowns and insignificant moisture abstraction capacity. When attempting to date a tree based on girth, an arboriculturist will factor in the fact that the tree may be in competition with other trees and that growth will have been slower. This modified growth rate clearly has an impact on rates of transpiration and moisture uptake.
If four trees grow in a tight group adjacent a wall, the zone of influence will be localized and the wall may be unaffected. Figure 4 - Classification of types of tree crown as a result of competition Practical Forestry, Hart,Trees abstract moisture at a rate largely determined by their TLA through a process of transpiration. This is the principle mechanism by which tree dehydrate ground. Essentially the larger and healthier the crown of a tree, the greater the moisture abstraction capacity.
Canopies of trees are, however, also relevant in terms of aggravating any ongoing de- hydration process through the interception of rainfall. The ground is recharged through rainfall. It is estimated that about a quarter of rainfall is intercepted by the crown and a third of that evaporates in the tree, BinnsThis may be why Leyland cypresses are implicated in so many subsidence cases where they are in close proximity. Cypresses have dense evergreen crowns, are commonly grown and are usually grown as hedges close to a wall.
Distance is usually within m and the ground will be exceptionally dry within this zone due to this dual process. Because of this high incidence of damage involving cypresses they are defined as high water demanding trees but I would suggest that much of the process that resulted in damage to a property was the de-hydration of ground close to a structure because of rainfall interception.
Figure 5 - Indication of high incidence of possible damage associated with cypresses in close proximity to the tree.
Shrubs are often overlooked because they are not trees. This is wrong. Notwithstanding the rather dubious distinction between a tree and a shrub essentially they have similar patterns of root development though not so extensive many can grow into formidable plants as large as many small trees.
Elderberry — curiously considered by some as a shrub , buddleja, cotoneaster, laurel, pyracantha, ivy, wisteria are just a few examples of commonly grown shrubs that have the potential for significant moisture abstraction though little research appears to have been carried out on this.
They are significant, not simply because of potential moisture abstraction capacity but because of relevant characteristics associated with shrubs:. Before decisions are made about the presence of a tree, therefore, it may be more appropriate to consider the effect of nearby shrubs.
Ultimately, however, the effect of most shrubs is likely to be seasonal and the extent of pruning regarded as effective and often inappropriate for trees can be carried out on most species. Transplantation or containerisation are often solutions that are generally exclusive to shrubs. This is complex but highly relevant. Vegetation cannot cause indirect damage to a property unless there is potential for volumetric change and so it must be established that the structure bears upon a shrinkable substrate.
This is usually clay though peat is also shrinkable. Photo 2 — Example of how trees can grow very close to property without harming then if the soil is not shrinkable. Photo 3 — Example of how trees can grow very close to property without harming then if the soil is not shrinkable.
Degrees of shrinkability must be considered when considering tree influence or management. A root system abstracting high levels of soil moisture is likely to have rather less impact on the volume of a founding clay substrate with a P. Optimum oxygen levels, however, are rare in the field. Damage to the soil structure through compaction, particularly in clay soil, inhibits oxygen diffusion.
This is, by default, common near many structures. Compaction plays a further role in assessing root extension because of the effect of mechanically impeding penetration. Impedance must be less than the pressure exerted by a root tip.
Because this is a partially a function of the texture of a soil, course soil particles can be pushed aside by a root tip. In fine soils such as clay, where pore size and porosity is far less, bulk density increases and root extension is compromised.
It will be dramatically reduced by bulk densities of more than 1. Many clay soils have a bulk density in excess of this. An understanding of the ground conditions of a site should, therefore, suggest to the trained eye whether tree roots have extended as far, further or less than the expected root spread of a given species at a given stage of growth. Thus on sites where bands of a more aerobic substrate such as hardcore, stone, sand, gravel etc. Similarly roots commonly follow cracks and crevices in the soil, including pipelines though this is also related to them exploiting the condensation on a pipe or additional soil moisture if leaks are presents.
Due to limited space, gardeners need to realize how to maximize their area so they can get the most out of it. If you live on a smaller parcel of land and want to grow your favorite fruit tree and think you just have room for one, you need to think twice because by size managing your fruit trees you discover that in reality you can plant multiple trees. Imagine a Plum tree that is over 15 feet tall or an Apricot tree that is 30 plus feet high, in most cases for the typical homeowner this is too big and takes up too much space. Did you know that it is possible to have a fruit tree that is over 15 years old and be only 5 or 6 feet tall and be loaded with fruit?
Soils high in calcium carbonate with caliche at or very near the surface are also generally unsuitable. Topsoil depth for fruit trees should be least 1 to 2.
The home fruit garden requires considerable care. Thus, people not willing or able to devote some time to a fruit planting will be disappointed in its harvest. Some fruits require more care than others do. Tree fruits and grapes usually require more protection from insects and diseases than strawberries and blackberries. In addition, sprays may be required to protect leaves, the trunk, and branches. Small fruits are perhaps the most desirable of all fruits in the home garden since they come into bearing in a shorter time and usually require few or no insecticide or fungicide sprays. Fresh fruits can be available throughout the growing season with proper selection of types and cultivars varieties. Avoid poorly drained areas. Deep, sandy loam soils, ranging from sandy clay loams to coarse sands or gravel mixtures, are good fruit soils.
Planting fruit trees is a great way to make a garden that is both beautiful and functional. Along with stunning scenery, these trees will provide you with delicious fruit that you can enjoy on its own or use in your favorite recipes. But how much space do you need between each fruit tree? Keep reading […]. Keep reading to find out how to space out these landscaping features.
It is only when trees are mature that their amenity value is maximised.
Just as apples, pears, sweet cherries and other stone fruits e. This can provide the homeowner with edible fruit, valuable ornamental qualities, and possibly access to a favorite variety that may not be available in the local market. What many homeowners may be unaware of is the fact that they are legally responsible for controlling insect pest and diseases in fruit trees on their property. Start by reading these short fact sheets. Then if you still want the fruit tree, we offer resources to improve pest control and horticulture.
A drive around any older neighborhood will quickly show you giant trees right up against houses, blocking windows, damaging foundations and drains, and making rooms dark and gloomy. Bad decisions about planting distances are easy to find, so why are they made? The biggest single reason for poor tree placement is the way we see plants as cute and small, and our wish to surround our homes with green. But the consequences, in removal costs, damage, insurance claims, and in the forced cutting down of heritage trees, are serious. Trees take time to grow, and many can and do grow large, so when planting a tree it really is worthwhile to take some time, and use a measure tape, when choosing that planting spot. The image of the root-system being an upside-down version of the branches is very wrong, because for almost all trees the roots extend 1. A sixty-foot tree will therefore have some roots over feet from the trunk, but those outermost roots are small feeding roots — usually not the large structural roots that cause damage. The depth of roots, on the other hand, is much less than the height, although this is affected by the soil.
Planting fruit trees requires a little more thought and effort that out to a distance of about 3 feet from the bottom of the trunk.
The treatment you give to the planting process and subsequent first year of growth will help to establish a healthy root system and healthy tree. Vintage Tree Care will walk you through some of the basic questions you need to answer before planting your fruit tree. Do your research! There are many factors to take into account: Taste, winter hardiness, chill hours, size, does it need a pollinator, what types of tree are best suited to your climate.RELATED VIDEO: How to Plant Multiple Fruit Trees in a Small Space - High Density Back Yard Orchard Culture
Skip to content Ontario. Explore Government. Growing fruit trees in the home garden can be a very interesting and challenging hobby. There are several things that you should know about fruit tree culture that will improve your chances of success and make your hobby more rewarding. Each kind of fruit tree, even each cultivar variety , has its own climatic adaptations and limitations. Stone fruits such as peach, sweet cherry, and plum will perform best in the warmer regions of the province.
Find out how to pick the best tree that will not damage your foundation. Before deciding on a particular tree that you think will be excellent, make sure you find out all about its root system, especially about the anticipated depth and spread of its roots.
Give a garden, regardless of how small the space is, a practical side, too, by planting fruit trees because, in their absence, your oasis behind the house would be incomplete. Not only do they give you crops in summer or fall, but they also carry that satisfying feeling somehow signifying that you are putting down roots of a more permanent nature. Fruit trees can be a valuable addition for those that are trying to be more responsible for growing their own food and requires much less maintenance than an annual garden. And since we have touched on this topic before, we will now tackle fruit trees planting distances. The best answer is given my some simple calculations. So, in order to know how many fruit trees you can plant on a perimeter, just divide the total surface of the plot where you plan to plant the trees to the ideal area a tree needs to properly grow, namely 4X4 meters.
We are often asked how close can a fruit tree be planted to the wall of a house. There two main kinds of concern:. Fruit trees can often be planted closer to buildings than large ornamental trees because the rootstocks constrain the spread of the roots.