When tree roots invade the foundation, cracks in the foundation floor, mostly vertical cracks in the foundation walls, windows cracked or broken without other evidence of trauma, uneven door and window frames, buckling on the floor surface. To be fair, tree roots themselves are not the direct cause of foundation damage, although many homeowners believe that they are. Instead, changes in soil condition are what actually cause most of the damage to the foundations of houses. While there is no irrefutable guarantee that the roots of a tree will not one day reach below a foundation or into a leach bed, planting trees at least 50 feet away from all structures or systems is a good start.
Before considering the possibility of removing a tree, you need to confirm that the roots of the trees are actually present at the base of the base. Another way to prevent tree roots from causing damage is to reconsider your plans to plant trees in the area around your home. For properties larger than one hectare, a city-approved Tree Conservation Report is required to remove any tree with a diameter of 4 inches or more. You may also notice that your house is leaning toward a tree because the tree draws moisture from the ground, leaving room for the foundation to move or collapse.
In Ottawa, on properties of less than one hectare, a permit is required to remove any tree with a diameter of 20 or more inches. You don't want to cut down a tree if you don't need it just because it's close to your house, after all, foundation damage from soil shrinkage can occur even without tree roots near your house. Although you may have heard that roots take up almost as much space as the tree itself, the truth is that the root system of a tree can be about three times wider than the tall tree. Tree removal is hazardous work and must be done with a certified professional who has the training, tools, experience and insurance for the job.
As for established plantings that cause problems, sometimes the only solution is to cut the tree and remove as much of the root system as possible before repairing damaged structures. It is a common belief that a tree will develop roots as wide as the tree is tall, but this is a misconception that underestimates the facts. If you're determined to plant a new tree in your garden, another way to subvert the threat of root damage is to select a slow-growing tree species that has less aggressive rooting tendencies. Since tree removal can be dangerous and cause damage to your property, it is recommended that you do it by professionals.
Tree roots can aggravate this problem, as they also remove moisture from the soil (as they need it to survive).