What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots?

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots? - Green Garden Tribe

An average tree has as much of a significant root mass beneath the ground as it has above. Most of the mass of the root system of a tree is in the upper 18-24 inches of soil. The roots can spread as far as the most distant tips of the branches while those with invasive roots can spread much further. If you are wondering what trees have the least invasive roots, you should read further.

Remember that invasive tree roots can be destructive. The roots can invade pipes since they have the chief factors to support life – air, moisture, and nutrients. When pipes develop a leak, the roots will seek out the source of the water and grow into the pipe. Roots that move through the pathways and pavements are also looking for moisture.

It is important to note that not all trees are suitable for residential properties. With this in mind, you should learn more about the ideal trees to plant near your house with non-invasive root systems. Problems with the tree roots that will affect your house depend on the overall tree size.

What Trees Have the Least Invasive Roots?

Problems with the tree roots typically come down to the size of the tree. If you are eager to add trees to your property, a key factor I strongly suggest is to begin at around 8 to 10 feet away from any structure for small trees and increase the distance when considering the mature stature and span of the tree.

If you have been eager to learn what trees have the least invasive roots, you can choose from any of the following. Aside from the non-invasive root systems, these trees impart an alluring element to your property.

1. Crabapple

Crabapple is the ideal choice if you are looking for a tree with a non-invasive root system that also boasts a thicker, rounder, and fuller appearance. It is a deciduous tree that showcases bright pink to burgundy blooms and prefers moist soil as long as there is adequate drainage.

The tree boasts resilience to some of the common diseases that affect apple trees, such as apple scab and fire blight. Crabapples are vibrant and fragrant during the spring and mature in the fall and winter.

The root system of a crabapple tree is non-invasive and non-aggressive that will not bury deep down in the ground and cause the formation of cracks in the pathways or sidewalks. Additionally, you will not worry that your home will be threatened by the tree roots that are searching for sources of water.

2. Trident Maple

The Trident Maple is a resilient and strong tree that works well in urban landscapes but has a steady growth rate. The tree is the best choice for properties that receive adequate sunlight. The tree can tolerate the elements present in any urban landscape including wind, air pollution, salt, and even drought.

Trident Maple can form roots and thrive in mediocre soil but requires proper drainage. Luckily, the tree showcases green and full leaves despite long-term drought conditions.
Make sure that you will plant this tree under full sun or partial shade.

3. Cornelian Cherry

The Cornelian Cherry is a member of the dogwood family. It is a shrub-like tree that can grow between 15 to 25 feet in height if you will not prune it. The tree can live and produce fruit for up to 100 years.

The Cornelian Cherry tree can bloom early for an extended period, carpeting the tree with a yellow screen of miniature blossoms. As for the bark, it is flaky and greyish brown in appearance. The vibrant green leaves shift to purplish-red during the fall.

The fruit it produces is edible, but it is mainly grown as an ornamental in the United States. The fruit has a tart flavor and strikingly resembles olives. The tree thrives best under full sun to partial shade. As for the soil requirement, it works well in various types of soil but prefers fertile soil with good drainage. I suggest pruning the tree and train it to become a single-stemmed form.

4. American Hornbeam

The American Hornbeam tree has a compact form that fits perfectly in any home. The tree boasts resilient wood which rarely splits or cracks. As small trees, they have a variety of purposes on your property. If it grows under the shade of bigger trees, it has an attractive, open form but when under direct sunlight, they produce a tight, dense growth pattern.

A Hornbeam tree can provide good-quality shade for both homeowners and wildlife such as birds, butterflies, rabbits, and beavers. Some birds and small mammals will take shelter and nest among the branches.

5. Serviceberry

Serviceberry can be a tree or bush, depending on the cultivar. It boasts a striking natural form and edible fruit. It showcases a remarkable display of white blossoms that resemble lilacs during spring along with attractive fall foliage and grey bark. Serviceberry can grow from 6 to 20 feet or more at maturity.

It thrives best in soil that is lighter and not loaded with clay to ensure proper drainage. Although it can grow well in both full sun and partial shade, I recommend planting under the full sun if you want a delicious and abundant harvest of fruit.

6. Japanese Dogwood

Japanese Dogwood is an ornamental variant that boasts pinkish-red fruits and blossoms with spurts of white leaf clusters. Although these clusters seem to take on the form of flowers, they are leaves.

The tree has a small root system and available in several varieties depending on the aesthetic appeal you want to achieve. Japanese dogwood prefers loam soil with an average amount of moisture. Additionally, it is also resistant to drought conditions.

7. Japanese maple (Perfect For Your Front Yard)

The Japanese maple is a variant of the maple tree that works well as an accent in any yard or landscape. However, it still stands out magnificently on its own in any property. The tree is a suitable choice for cooler growing zones that showcases striking burnt-amber-colored leaves with a delicate appearance.

The tree prefers moist, well-draining acidic soil with a good dose of organic material. If you are going to plant the Japanese maple in a warmer environment, the leaves will lose their red or purple color and turn green. As for the root system of the Japanese maple tree, it is important to note that it “self-stunts”. It means that if the roots could not expand once it is planted, it will discontinue upward and outward above-ground growth.

8. Cape Ash

Another type of tree that has a non-invasive root system is cape ash. The tree can rapidly grow and produces a thick, wide crown. The Cape Ash tree is often planted along sidewalks and in commercial establishments since they require minimal maintenance.

Due to its rapid growth, cape ash is the ideal choice for homeowners who want a fast-growing tree to provide some immediate shade on their property.

9. Saucer Magnolia

The Saucer Magnolia tree is popular for its purple-and-white flowers that exude an aromatic scent on your property. If you want a tree with a non-invasive root system that will not cause any damage to the foundation of your home, Saucer Magnolia is one of the best choices I recommend.

The flowers can grow large and covers the canopy of the tree. Depending on the conditions, the tree will require minimal pruning. As for the growing conditions, the soil should have consistent moisture since they will not thrive well in soil that is too dry or too wet.

10. Olive Tree

Several variants of olive trees can provide shade to your yard, but do not produce fruit. The majestic beauty variant can grow up to 25 feet tall upon maturity and reach up to 150 years old. The tree can provide moderate to dense shade and produces miniature fragrant flowers during spring, but little or no fruit.
The Olive Tree variant thrives best under full sun and can tolerate drought conditions. It can work well in any type of soil, ideally loam, clay, or sand.

11. Fraser Photinia

The Fraser Photinia or red tip tree can grow up to 15 to 20 feet in height and wide at maturity. The new leaves of the tree showcase bronze to bright red and shift to dark green.
The tree takes on an oval form, provides dense shade, and produces small white flowers between mid-to-late spring, but without fruit. The Fraser Photinia tree can tolerate heat and dry conditions, thrives well in loam, clay, or sandy soil. It grows equally well in alkaline or acidic soil. The tree can live up to 150 years and resistant to mildew.

12. English Holly

The English Holly can grow up to 35 to 40 feet once it reaches maturity. The tree can provide your property with dense shade with its glossy oval evergreen foliage. It thrives well under full sun to incomplete shade and needs moist soil, but can tolerate highly acidic to slightly alkaline clay, sand, or loam.

13. Bronze Loquat

The Bronze Loquat tree can grow between 15 to 25 feet in height and provides your property with moderate shade. The new leaves of the tree emerge in a copper-like shade and turn green once it matures.

The evergreen leaves and flaking bark keep the tree attractive throughout the year. It produces miniature white flowers that blossom during the spring. The tree thrives well under full sun. It can grow in loam, sandy, or clay soil and can tolerate highly acidic to alkaline soil. Bronze Loquat can maintain its form when you perform pruning at the top.

14. Dogwood Tree

The Dogwood Tree is a rapid-growing tree that is the best choice that I highly recommend if you want a tree with a non-invasive root system. The tree can grow well in a location with partial shade. It is one of the first trees to produce flowers during spring. Depending on the species that you are eager to plant on your property, make sure that you will choose the right one for your area.

The majority of dogwood trees can grow up to 15 to 25 feet in height. Provide the tree with well-draining soil. Although they prefer moist conditions, excessively soggy soil can be detrimental to their development.

15. Crepe Myrtle

The Crepe Myrtle Tree can provide your property with brilliant blossoms throughout the summer along with its remarkable fall foliage. The tree requires a prolonged, warm growing season though.

Crepe Myrtle Trees require pruning during late winter. You can remove the lower branches of the tree if you want to expose its attractive bark. The tree can reach a height of 25 to 30 feet.

16. Pawpaw

A Pawpaw Tree is defined by its foot-long leaves along with tropical fruits. The fruit it bears has a striking resemblance in terms of flavor between a mango and an avocado. It is a small-sized tree that can reach between 15 to 30 feet in height. It is best to plant the tree in a location on your property that receives adequate sun exposure since it can turn leggy if it is under the shade.

17. Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud Tree showcases striking flowers during the early spring season before they leaf out. The tree is a lovely addition to your property that has a striking hot pink color, and some variants produce white flowers.

The tree has an attractive spreading habit that takes on a vase-like form. If you want to see butterflies in your yard, the tree is a must-have. The Eastern Redbud tree can reach between 20 to 30 feet in height. When growing this tree on your property, I suggest providing it with well-draining soil. Additionally, you have to choose carefully a permanent location for this tree since transplanting might be detrimental to its growth.

18. Dwarf Pear Tree

If you want to add a perennial fruit to your property, a Dwarf Pear Tree is an ideal choice, especially if you have limited space. You can plant Dwarf Pear Trees with a little as 10 to 15 of available space. You can even maintain it at 10-12’ in height. With this height level, it makes the tree easy to pick, prune and maintain. Aside from the tasty fruit it provides, the trees can impart a touch of vibrant color and texture to your property especially when they are producing abundant flowers.

Final thoughts

If you have been wondering what trees are suitable to grow on your property, i.e., what trees have the least invasive roots; you now have an idea of the right options discussed above. These trees have non-invasive, non-aggressive root systems that will not cause any damage in the long run.’

Corinne C
Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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