5 Things You Need to Know About Trees and Foundation Planting

Your home’s landscaping can often improve the look of your house and even increase your home’s property value.

But before you get carried away with planting trees in your front yard, it’s important you first understand what you’re doing.

There are plenty of things to know about planting trees on your property, particularly when it comes to planting them close to your home.

Mr. Tree has been helping families like yours for more than 30 years. We have you covered when it comes to all your tree care needs. Here are our top five things you need to know when it comes to trees and foundation planting.

What Is Foundation Planting?

Before we really dive into everything you need to know about foundation planting, we should probably explain a thing or two about what it is first. Foundation planting refers to the trees and plants you place near the foundation of your home. The plants underneath your windows or lining your entryway, for instance, or that hug the exterior of your home.

At one point in time, foundation planting was used to obscure a home’s unsightly foundation. Since home styles have changed over the years, however, this has become less common.

Now, homeowners plant foundation trees and shrubs primarily to add to the appeal of their homes. Foundation planting helps soften the hard lines of a home’s architecture, making it blend more seamlessly into the natural surroundings. This enhances the home’s aesthetic, giving it an inviting look and feel.

Benefits of Foundation Planting

There are many benefits to foundation planting that go beyond simply improving a home’s appearance. Using your green thumb and planting some foundation trees around your home can actually help you keep some green in your wallet. That’s because some types of foundation trees, such as evergreen shrubs, actually promote energy efficiency.

Leaving a home’s foundation exposed can allow cold air to enter the home. But evergreen shrubs function as a wind barrier, preventing those drafts from penetrating your home’s foundation. This helps insulate your house during wintertime, thereby reducing your heating costs and cutting down on your energy bill.

Since foundation planting also adds to your home’s curb appeal, it can increase your property value as well. If you’re considering relocating in the future, adding some foundation trees around your home will create a more inviting landscape that may attract prospective homebuyers.

Call Before Digging

Not only is calling before you dig recommended, but it’s also required by law in many localities. Before you start planting your foundation trees, you should call your local utility center. If you live in Portland, the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) is available 24 hours a day to process your request.

The center will inform you of any underground utilities in the area where you plan to dig. It’s important to steer clear of power lines, for instance, when you’re planting your foundation trees, to avoid the potential for costly damage.

In addition to property damage, digging too close to underground facilities can also cause serious injury. Another reason it’s important to call before you begin your planting. In fact, Oregon law requires it for anyone on private property or public right-of-way. So play it safe and call before you dig.

Select the Right Foundation Tree

As we mentioned before, there are many benefits to foundation planting. But it can also turn into a big headache if you don’t select the right tree. That’s why you want to take the proper time and care in selecting the appropriate foundation trees to plant.

You should first make sure that you’re selecting a tree that won’t grow too large in size once it’s mature. A foundation tree shouldn’t tower over your home, blocking windows and doors, for instance. If a tree planted near the home does grow to be that large, it could even cause storm damage in severe weather. Best to avoid the potential for that altogether.

Instead, make sure you plant trees that have manageable growth potential. Also, take into account the trees’ roots. You want to avoid planting deciduous trees, for instance, that have large roots that can threaten a home’s foundation. Otherwise, you will likely have to invest in tree removal down the road.

Also, try to select trees that are evergreen and have foliage year-round. This will ensure your foundation planting will beautify your home not just for a season or two but throughout the year. Also, select trees and plants that have good form and color.

Plants that are naturally round will be relatively low maintenance, saving you the time and effort of having to trim and clip them into shape.

Choose an Appropriate Location

You also want to be sure you choose the right location for your foundation planting. Like we said earlier, you don’t want your foundation trees to block windows or doors. They should enhance the beauty of your home, not become an overly burdensome distraction. To avoid the risk, select plants that won’t grow above your window sills.

You also don’t want your foundation planting to interfere with driveways, paths, or sidewalks. Generally speaking, you should plant foundation trees about 15 to 20 feet away from the home to avoid any of the common issues that can arise from planting too close.

Keeping these points in mind should give you a good base knowledge to work from when planting your foundation trees. If done the right way, foundation planting can enhance the beauty of your home for years to come.

If you have more questions or need some help with tree service once your foundation trees are planted, give us a call. We love to help our customers realize the full potential of their trees and see them flourish. So let’s start building the foundation for a really great relationship.