Ash trees are considered to be majestic, grand, and beautiful. However, if you are thinking about planting one in your backyard, you might need to reconsider. This type of tree is truly nice to look at and can live for several years, but it can be a pain, especially when planted in a residential area.
Are ash trees considered to have invasive roots?
Ash trees are a type of deciduous tree, which would mean that they are flowering plants with a medium to large built. Having a tree that can grow to around 90 feet tall will often come with a big root system, as it will not be possible for a tree to grow at this size when it is not receiving the proper amount of nutrients, food, water, and sunlight it needs.
To answer the question, yes, ash trees are equipped with bigger root systems that are invasive in nature. This would mean that their roots may cause problems with nearby structures and pipes due to how fast it grows and how thick their roots are.
When should you plant an ash tree?
If you are wondering whether ash trees would be a good choice of tree for your location, you will need to take note of the following factors before planting one. After all, having it removed after a couple of years due to its nature will be a long and sometimes expensive process, which is why it is truly recommended to do your research first before having a tree planted on your lawn.
Before you plant an ash tree, you will need to:
- Know the reason for planting a tree.
There are many reasons why people plant trees in the first place. They might want it for ornamental and decorative purposes, they might want it to bear fruits that they can eat, they might want it to act as a ledge for privacy, and many more. Before planting your tree, make sure that you know what you want it to do. For example, if you want a tree that will grow edible fruits in your backyard, ash trees may not be on top of your list.
The reason for doing this is so that you can properly plan for your tree. If you want a beautiful tree, there are many alternatives to ash trees that have less invasive roots and are not dangerously tall for a residential area.
- Assess your location.
As mentioned above, ash trees have extremely invasive roots, which would mean that they can damage the structures and pipe systems that are in close proximity to the tree. Ash trees have already earned a bad reputation due to the countless foundations that it has damaged in many cities, which is exactly why there are many homeowners’ association groups that do not allow them to be planted in their area.
The roots of an ash tree can reach around 3 feet in depth, and is the number one culprit of many broken and cracked pavements in public areas that have them planted, such as in parks and parking lots. If you have a small space in a residential area, you might want to stay away from planting an ash tree and seek other alternatives. However, if you have a space that is at least 20 feet away from your house and other structures, you can definitely have one planted if you really want to.
- Know your commitment.
Taking care of ash trees in a residential place will need lots of time and effort. Aside from the regular pruning you will have to do, you should also make sure that you are always keeping your ash tree under your watch when there is a storm and strong winds, as it can cause accidents to passersby and the properties near it once its branches break.
Being a tree owner comes with a responsibility, and if you are not sure that you can spend your resources in keeping one, you might need to look for other tree types that require less care and maintenance.
- Ask a professional.
If you really want to plant an ash tree on your lawn but want to be sure that it will not damage nearby properties and structures, the best thing you can do is get the help of an arborist. Arborists are also called “tree doctors”, and these experts can inspect your location and see what type of tree would be best for your need and preference while also keeping other important factors in mind, such as the type of soil in your lawn, the weather conditions, and other data.
What trees do not have invasive roots?
If it is clear that ash trees may not be great for your lawn or will not fit the level of commitment you can give, there is no need to worry, as there are other great alternatives to ash trees that have less invasive roots. Just make sure to stay away from maples, cottonwoods, and other deciduous trees, as these trees are also similar to ash and are prone to causing unwanted accidents.
If you want a fruit tree:
Dwarf Apple Trees would be great as they have a smaller root system and can only grow at around 8 to 10 feet tall. It also bears fruits that are tasty and are very useful in cooking.
Adams Crabapple Trees are very attractive trees that can grow colorful flowers and tasty fruit. It does not have an extremely invasive root system as it will usually be just the same size as its canopy.
If you want a shade tree:
Southern sugar maple trees, though considered as part of the maple family, are not considered to have invasive roots, and will be able to provide shade and will be a nice alternative to an ash tree.