En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - February 23, 2013

From: Bryan, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fan-Tex ash tree roots a problem near house foundation from Bryan TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

DO I need to worry about Fan TX roots being a problem near house foundations?

ANSWER:

We believe you are referring to the Fan-Tex ash tree; please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on what exactly that tree is. Since it is always a graft onto Fraxinus velutina (Arizona ash), we can only hope that reading our webpage and other information on that native plant would give some indication as to what the roots would do. One article that we read said that the mature tree was too large for residential use, which is not a good omen.

From Colorado State University, here is an article on Healthy Roots and Healthy Trees, We are not sure exactly what "near" is, but a mature tree with a large crown probably has roots growing from 2 to 3 times farther out than the visible crown. When roots come to an obstacle, such as concrete foundation, it will try to grow down below that obstacle, in search of water and nutrients in the soil. When it gets below the foundation, it will slurp out the moisture in the soil, the soil will subside, thus damaging the base for the foundation, and the foundation will crack. This situation is no different for a Fan-Tex than any other tree. You have to decide, which do you want? The tree or the foundation? If you can't plant your tree far enough away from the foundation to permit the tree roots to avoid the foundation then, yes, it is going to be a problem.

 

More Trees Questions

Area under live oaks from Austin
October 08, 2012 - We have many live oaks in our mostly shaded half acre. While I have tried to plant mostly native plants, often beneath them, the plants are showered with leathery leaves, acorns and sap, while oak sp...
view the full question and answer

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL
April 05, 2013 - I have a very large pine tree that I would like to plant some flowers under. I have hostas, stonecrop and fern, but like to add some color. What do you suggest? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Identity of Hercules Club from Lathrup Village MI
October 12, 2009 - Thought the shrub was Hercules Club but when looked at photo on line, totally different leaf. Mine has palmate leaf rounded at the tips, spines that are short but substantial. Branches arch somewhat a...
view the full question and answer

Effect of unusual wet weather on desert willows
July 23, 2007 - I live in North Central Texas and have 3 beautiful Desert willow trees that are usually in full bloom. I've kept them pruned to form a nice full tree shape but now they are losing leaves and looking ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for full-sun landscape
November 20, 2007 - I live in a very rocky area just outside of Fort Worth, TX. It's taken me all spring, summer & now I'm going into the fall, to landscape just 30 feet in front of my house. The front of the house get...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center