Birch – Close To House

Q: I have a river birch that was planted sixteen feet from the house to provide shade. I’m concerned it is too close. I’m thinking I should remove this tree before roots invade the foundation.

A: The roots won’t likely be a problem but the branches could be. Mature river birch trees can grow seventy feet high and thirty feet wide. I often see river birches planted in spots I consider too near a house. They eventually bang on gutters and gouge shingles. Builders like them because they are relatively inexpensive and give immediate landscape interest. If you decide to remove it, consider a named red maple.

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