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

Aging Arizona Ash in Austin
May 04, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants! I live in South Austin and just bought a house with a large, 30-40 year old Arizona Ash in the backyard. When I moved in, most of the lower branches were bare and dead and so I had ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping from a potted Mesquite
August 11, 2014 - I have a Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) that I purchased at a nursery in Alpine, TX just a few miles away from me. It was a in nursery style black plastic container. The mesquite is perhaps a...
view the full question and answer

What to do with a sickly American elm in Austin, Texas
September 27, 2010 - I have an American elm that is about 6 feet tall in my yard. It is has not grown quickly this year--as compared to another American Elm that I have in another spot that is about 3 feet tall and has m...
view the full question and answer

Failure of older branches on Bauhinia lunarioides to thrive
April 27, 2008 - We planted a sapling of the Anacacho Orchid Tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) winter (Jan, Feb?) and now it has leaves and blooms - but only off of new branches near its trunk, as the old branches haven't ...
view the full question and answer

Locating a Western Soapberry Tree for Montezuma IN
November 20, 2009 - Hello, I hope you can help. We homeschool in Indiana (Dad is a native Texan, transplanted). We are looking for someone with a healthy, mature & fruiting Western Soapberry Tree..sapindus drumondii.
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