Tree roots in cobblestone

Which Trees Cause the Most Damage to Foundations?

Trees make a lovely addition to any landscape, but certain species can pose problems for a home’s foundation, especially when planted too close or without root barriers. As roots encroach on the foundation, a pressure imbalance may eventually cause cracking, settling, and other potential damage.

Here in Texas, property owners should be aware of fast-growing trees with shallow roots that grow laterally, which can cause many foundation problems.


Growing up to 100 feet tall, Poplars are beautiful trees that are often favored by gardeners and landscapers. They are highly adaptable to clay soils and require very little in the way of pruning and maintenance. The problem with these trees is that they have very shallow and fast-growing roots that move laterally across the soil. Cottonwood, white poplars, Carolina poplars, and Lombardy poplars can be particularly hazardous to foundations when planted close to existing structures. Planting at least 30-50 feet away from the house can prevent future problems.


According to one study on tree root foundation damage, Oak species account for 11 percent of all foundation problems cited by property owners. Live oaks, Shumard red oaks, chestnut oaks, and other species have shallow roots that leach large quantities of nutrients and water from the soil. Root barriers can redirect tree roots away from plumbing lines and foundations, preventing costly damage down the line.


Tall and graceful, ash trees produce large, domed canopies of delightful shade in hot Texas summers. Unfortunately, they also have sprawling root systems that can span upwards of 30 feet. Their thirsty roots are expansive and can cause shifts in the foundation if left unchecked.

Other Trees That Can Cause Damage

Other fast-growing trees with shallow roots that can prove problematic for foundations include:

  • Norway maples
  • Silver maples
  • Black locusts
  • Honey locusts
  • Sycamore
  • Sweetgum
  • Boxelder
  • Norway spruce
  • Crimean pine

If roots are already invading your foundation and causing problems, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free estimate on our Richardson foundation repair services.

Expert Foundation Repair Richardson TX

Whether you’re worried about tree roots or other foundational problems, it’s important to get a professional opinion on the underlying causes. Wondering if you’re in our Richardson TX foundation repair service area?

Align Foundation Repair serves the entire Dallas-Fort-Worth area, and our workmanship is backed by an industry-leading warranty. Contact us today to arrange a free estimate.

Comments for this post are closed.