Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Source for Desert Willow from Dallas
October 03, 2011 - I'm looking for a source for chilopsis linearis. I live in Dallas, TX. None of the specialty nurseries in Dallas seem to be able to source it. Is there any local source? Is there any source withi...
view the full question and answer

Central branches on Texas Ash have died
June 09, 2015 - I have a Texas Ash tree that was planted about 4 years ago. It seemed fine last summer and was well watered. This spring, when it started leafing out, the central branches at the upper part of the tre...
view the full question and answer

Inflorescence of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
December 28, 2007 - What kind of flower inflorescence do sycamores have?
view the full question and answer

Bulging trunks on post oak
August 05, 2011 - I have a huge post oak with a codominant trunk that is bulging between the two main trunks. The bulging is causing the trunks to spread apart, so one of the trunks is getting much too close to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Bird-attracting trees in Marble Falls TX
May 24, 2010 - What fruiting trees/shrubs other than red mulberry are good to attract native birds (and for bird watching opportunities)? We'd prefer native species, but does white mulberry attract as many bird sp...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.