En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Deciduous tree with tap root

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Deciduous tree with tap root
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a 13 foot space between two town houses and would like to plant a slender deciduous tree up to 30 feet in height with a tendency to tap root so as not to disturb the foundation of the houses. I love a Katsura but am worried about the shallow roots. What would you recommend?

ANSWER:

First of all, Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't recommend a Katsura (Cercidiphyllum spp.) tree since it is native to Japan and China and not to North America and what we are all about at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes". However, we can recommend a few trees native to Maryland that have a tap root system that shouldn't interfere with your foundation.

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) has leaves that look much like the katsura tree and reaches 15 to 30 feet. It also has a root system that shouldn't harm your foundation.

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam) slow-growing, 35-50 feet. Here are more photos.

Juglans cinerea (butternut) fairly fast-growing, 40-60 feet. Here are photos.

Quercus stellata (post oak) slow-growing, 40-50 feet.

Carya alba (mockernut hickory) slow-growing, 50-60 feet. Here are more photos.


Cercis canadensis

Carpinus caroliniana

Quercus stellata

Carya alba

 



 



 

More Trees Questions

Tree that will not interfere with hardscape in San Diego
February 07, 2009 - I am looking for a small tap root tree that will reach max height of 20-25 ft. The area is only about 4 to 6 ft. to the house slab or driveway which I need to be very careful so it doesn't crack the...
view the full question and answer

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Native maples for the Austin, TX area
May 21, 2005 - I am new to the state of Texas. I lived in Canada all of my life and miss my maple trees. Are maple trees (green or red leafed varieties) able to thrive in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Leaves falling off live oak tree in Eureka TX
August 22, 2009 - I have the same question; it is in Navarro County in August. The leaves are falling off my live oak tree, they are brownish yellow, but it is not oak wilt. What might it be? This year I put mulch arou...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
February 11, 2005 - How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center