Maple Tree Root System – Are Maple Tree Roots Invasive? – LeafyJournal (2023)

Maple trees are mostly found in Asia. But there are also maple trees in other continents as well. The family that maple tree belongs to is known by the name Sapindaceae. Different trees have different root systems.

Today, we are going to discuss and find out about the root system of maple trees.

Maple tree Root System Explained

The root system of maple trees can be described as non-invasive. However, some varieties of maple trees do have invasive roots. But it is a very small percentage. Maple trees mostly have shallow roots that do not go deep into the ground and stay within one and a half feet of the soil.

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Maple Tree Root System – Are Maple Tree Roots Invasive? – LeafyJournal (1)

There are many varieties of maple tree available throughout the world. Those varieties do not share a common root system and can differ from each other. Let’s discuss in detail about some of them and find out about their root system.

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Japanese maple tree:

The scientific name of the Japanese maple tree is Acer palmatum. But the good thing about the Japanese maple tree is that it has a non-invasive root system. So it does not cause problems for the plants and structures around it.

Red maple tree:

Red maple tree is also known by the name of swamp maple. Red maple tree’s root system can be described as mildly invasive as it possesses the ability to cause problems for other plants and structures.

Silver maple tree:

The important thing to remember here is that the Silver maple tree possesses the most invasive root system out of all the species of maple trees.

Additionally, it has excessively shallow roots that can cause serious problems for the plants and structures around it because of its invasiveness.

Florida maple tree:

The Florida maple tree got its name because of its birth place. But the good thing about Florida maple trees is that they have a mildly invasive root system. So it is safe to grow other plants around it in the garden.

Florida maple tree is also a safe option as a sidewalk ornamental tree.

Autumn blaze maple tree:

The autumn blaze maple tree is the genetic combination of silver maple tree and red maple tree. The root system of autumn blaze maple trees can be described as being invasive. It has the ability to create problems for the other plants and structures of the garden and near it.

Sugar maple tree:

The sugar maple tree also goes by the name of rock maple tree. The root system of the sugar maple tree can be labeled as being shallow.

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Despite having shallow roots, the sugar maple tree does not create problems for other plants in the garden because of its non-invasive nature.

Armstrong maple tree:

The Armstrong maple tree is not known for possessing a non-invasive root system. The reason behind this is the moderately slow growth rate of its roots. But another thing that can be said about its root system is that the roots are shallow.

Amur maple tree:

The Amur maple tree is also known by the name of the Siberian maple tree. The Amur maple tree’s root system can be described as invasive due its spreading or multiplying ability. It is not a good choice as an ornamental tree for sidewalks and gardens.

Trident maple tree:

The Trident maple tree is mostly found in parts of Asia. It is not known for having an invasive root system. It is true that it can easily branch out its roots. But this does not make it an invasive root system.

Does Maple tree have deep roots?

According to gardening experts, most of the maple trees have shallow roots. They have such shallow roots that some parts of the root will come out of the soil when the tree grows up and gains maturity.

The shallow root system of maple trees can cause problems for the concrete structures and other plants nearby. However, the shallowness of maple trees varies. Some varieties of maple trees might have shallower or deeper roots compared to others.

How deep are Maple tree roots?

Maple trees have an incredibly shallow root system. So their roots do not reach that much deep into the ground. Most varieties of maple trees have a root system that can reach as far as one and a half feet deep into the ground.

The shallowness and invasiveness possessed by some maple trees’ root system can be destructive for other plants and structures around them. Planting a maple tree with shallow roots is not a great option for gardens and sidewalks.

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Do maple trees have a large root system?

Maple trees are famous for having a large root system. The root system of maple trees can branch out far and wide from its origin point. It has been noticed by gardening experts that the roots of fully grown maple trees can spread as far as one hundred feet from the tree itself.

Some of the maple trees can create issues for other plants in the garden because of their large root system. Maple trees enjoy having such a large root system and use it to their advantage most of the time.

How big are Maple tree roots?

If we use the word big to describe the root system of Maple trees, then it would be an understatement. Because a mature maple tree’s root system has the ability to spread as far and wide as one hundred feet from the trunk.

But the average spread of a maple tree’s root system is considered as twenty five feet from its origin point. The big root system of Maple trees can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be a blessing for the maple tree itself and a curse for the plants and structure around it.

What type of root system do maple trees have?

Different varieties of maple trees have different root systems. So it can be difficult to describe the exact type of root system maple trees have. However, we can discuss the common traits of the most maple trees below to draw a conclusion about the type of maple trees’ root system.

Non invasive:

Most of the maple trees have non invasive roots. Their non-invasiveness makes them an ideal choice as a garden plant. Most maple trees do not cause problems for other plants of the garden and do not harm the foundation and pipes of the home.


Another trait of the maple tree’s root system is its shallowness. Most of the maple trees are blessed with shallow roots and they can go as far as one and a half feet into the ground. But some rare varieties of Maple trees can go up to three feet in the ground.


Another thing that can be said about the root system of maple trees is that they are large. On an average, the roots of maple trees can spread up to twenty five feet from its point of origin.

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It can also be said that most of the maple tree varieties possess a fibrous root system. But this can become a problem if the roots are both invasive and shallow.

Are Maple tree roots invasive?

Most varieties of maple trees have non invasive roots. But the ones that have invasive roots can cause serious problems for the plants and structures around it with its invasiveness.

If the roots of a maple tree are both invasive and strong, then it should not be planted near a sidewalk or a building.

The most invasive varieties of maple trees include silver maple tree and Norway maple tree. On the other hand, Japanese maple trees and sugar maple trees are the most non-invasive varieties of maple trees.

Can Maple tree roots damage foundation or pipes?

Some of the maple trees can potentially damage foundation and pipes due to its invasive and strong roots. But most of the maple trees do not have the ability to cause problems for foundation and pipes because of their non-invasiveness.

For example, Japanese maple tree and sugar maple tree can be a safe choice for your garden as it will not damage the foundation or the pipes of the house with their roots.

Do Maple trees spread or multiply?

Some varieties of Maple trees are known for spreading or multiplying at a great rate. For example, the Amur maple tree can become so good at spreading or multiplying that it puts the other species at risk and hampers their survivability.

All the varieties of maple trees do not spread or multiply as good and fast as Amur maple trees. But the ones that do spread or multiply can be very hard to stop.

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Final Thoughts

Most of the maple trees have a non-invasive and shallow root system. The non-invasiveness of the maple trees is considered as a good trait. But the shallowness of their root system can be problematic for other plants in the garden. Their shallow and fibrous roots can hurt the foundation and pipes.


Are maple tree roots invasive? ›

Silver maple trees have incredibly shallow, fast-growing roots. They might be prized for their vibrant colour in autumn, but their root systems are one of the most invasive of all. As the roots enlarge, silver maple trees have been known to crack driveways, pavements, foundations and pipes.

Are red maple tree roots invasive? ›

They have thick, strong roots that grow near or above the surface of the soil. Although they aren't as destructive and invasive as those of silver maple trees, they can raise sidewalks and make lawn maintenance a difficult chore. Exposed roots are easily injured if you run over them with a lawn mower.

How close should you plant a maple tree to your house? ›

A maple or similarly large tree should not be planted 10 feet from a home. Even doing so for shade means the tree should be planted 20 or more feet from the structure.

Do maple tree roots damage houses? ›

Answer: Tree roots can damage a house foundation, with an invitation to do so. Tree roots are very opportunistic and will only grow and penetrate where it is easiest to grow such as friable soils and mulch.

What maples are not invasive? ›

Morton Miyabe Maple

This adaptable and hardy maple is tolerant to heat, cold, soil type, and urban pollution. It is not invasive and would be a good substitute for ash trees where ash borer problems exist.

Is maple tree good for front yard? ›

Maple trees are always a classic for a front yard, and this variety is a stunner. It's also a multitasker—in addition to adding curb appeal, Sun Valley is fast-growing, provides good shade, produces no seeds, and is resistant to Leafhoppers.

What tree can be planted close to a house? ›

Here are a few of the best shade trees for close to a house:
  • Paper Birch. The paper birch is a fast-growing shade tree. ...
  • Tulip Poplar. Tulip poplars are considered one of the tallest and best shade trees for close to a house. ...
  • Dawn Redwood. ...
  • Weeping Willow. ...
  • American Plane Tree. ...
  • Hackberry. ...
  • Silver Maple. ...
  • American Sweetgum.

How far my house should I plant a red maple tree? ›

A mature red maple can grow 40 to 60 feet high with variable spread depending on the cultivar. When planting a tree of this size, I would provide at least 20 feet of space from the house. More space is better to allow for horizontal spread of branches.

Which trees shouldn't be planted near houses? ›

Large trees, like the peepal, should not be planted too close to the house as their roots can damage the foundation of the house. The trees that attract insects, worms, honey bees or serpents should be avoided in the garden.

Do maple tree roots grow on top of the ground? ›

Almost any large, mature tree can develop surface roots, but species like poplar, willow and silver maple tend to be most likely to do so. The majority of a tree's roots grow horizontally in the top 4-15 inches of the soil. They do this because they need oxygen, which permeates from the surface of the soil.

Which tree roots damage foundations? ›

While oaks, poplars, and ash trees are undoubtedly the most common causes of foundation issues, there are many other types of trees that can cause issues. Some are deciduous trees, such as the black locust, boxelder, Norway maple, silver maple, sweetgum, sycamore, and tuliptree.

What tree roots grow straight down? ›

Taproots are large roots that grow straight down below the trunk of the tree. Compacted soil makes it difficult for trees to develop such a root. Most trees will never establish a taproot, but instead grow a sprawling network of woody and feeder roots, usually no deeper than 12 to 24 inches.

What is the roots system of a maple tree? ›

Root System of Maple Trees

Some Maple trees have deep taproots while some have roots thriving near the surface. Most of the Maple trees have roots as deep as 12 to 18 inches from the soil surface and spreading up to a distance of 25 ft. As the tree grows in size, these roots sometimes come out of the surface.

When should a maple tree be cut down? ›

Unless you're tapping sugar maples in the anticipation of making syrup, native maple trees are best left untouched throughout late winter and into spring. The best time for pruning a maple tree is in mid-summer, when the leaves have fully expanded and have turned a dark green.

How long does a maple tree live? ›

How long do maple trees live? How long a maple tree lives depends on the type of maple. A sugar maple can live up to 400 years, whereas a silver maple usually lives about a century. Red maple trees live a bit longer, surviving up to 300 years.

How tall should a tree be next to a house? ›

Medium-sized trees, those that grow up to 70 feet tall, should be planted at least 15 feet from your home. Finally, small trees that do not grow larger than 30 feet should be planted at least eight to ten feet from your home.
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How do I stop tree roots from growing under my foundation? ›

Install root barriers before the roots reach the concrete. Cut the roots and dam them with root barriers to prevent further growth. Cut down the tree and remove the root system so you can make a smooth, level surface again.

Where is the best place to plant a maple tree? ›

Choose a location with full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. Dig a hole as deep as the container and 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm.) wide. Set the plant in the hole, making sure the soil line on the stem is even with the surrounding soil.

Can I keep a maple tree small? ›

Regular maple tree pruning helps keep a tree the desired size and stops a tree from encroaching on its neighbors. Pruning also assists the tree develop of a sound branch structure. Carefully removing branches can reduce or eliminate structural issues in a tree.

How close can you plant maple trees? ›

Maple Tree Spacing

The root system of a maple tree can extend 4-5 times its height, but the trees can be planted closer together than that. Space large growing red, yellow, and sugar maples 25-feet apart. The smaller growing varieties can be spaced about 10-feet apart.

Are maples good trees? ›

The characteristics of red maple, sugar maple or any of the various hybrids exemplify good fall color, decent growth rate, interesting bark, and ease of propagation. Their performance puts maple trees in the league of historically top-rated trees like American elm, green and white ash, and American chestnut.

What is the downside of maple trees? ›

Further problems of maple trees result from very shallow root systems. Root system problems may manifest in the form of cracking sidewalks or driveways near the established tree. Roots beneath the soil's surface may cause damage to lawn mowers, as well as inhibit the growth of grass or other plants beneath the tree.

What is the best tree in front door? ›

Top ten plants to frame your front door
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  • Euonymus fortunei (spindle) 'Emerald Gaiety'
  • Weigela (weigela) 'Florida Variegata'
  • Laurus nobilis (bay tree)
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How far away from a fence should you plant a tree? ›

The recommended distance is 10-20 feet, but if it is a particularly large tree, it may be wise to set it further back, 20+ feet, to prevent future problems with roots or branches.

Do maple trees need a lot of water? ›

Maple trees need around 11 gallons of water a week to stay healthy, but young maple trees need even more, especially in dry, hot conditions. It's good to water your tree a few gallons every couple of days rather than a little every day.

How long does it take for a maple tree to grow 10 feet? ›

How Fast Do Red Maples Grow? Some trees are slow growers (20-30 years to reach full size) and other types of trees grow fast (10-15 years). The good news is that red maples grow at a relatively fast speed; in the tree world, this equals about 12-18 inches of height a year.

How big should a maple tree be? ›

A tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter, measured at 4 1/2 feet above the ground, before tapping. Trees between 10 and 20 inches in diameter should have no more than one tap per tree. A second tap may be added to trees between 20 and 25 inches in diameter.

What should you not plant at home? ›

Read on to find out.
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  • Negative Vastu Plants #2: Bonsai.
  • Negative Vastu Plants #3: Cotton Plant.
  • Negative Vastu Plants #4: Mehendi.
  • Negative Vastu Plants #5: Dead Plants.
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Is it hard to grow grass under a maple tree? ›

Most turfgrasses have a difficult time growing in the vicinity of large shade trees. If your efforts to grow turfgrass are unsuccessful, there are alternatives. Areas around and beneath trees can be mulched with wood chips or shredded bark. Planting a shade tolerant groundcover in the area is another possibility.

What happens when you cut the top off a maple tree? ›

Tree topping is the drastic removal, or cutting back, of large branches in mature trees, leaving large, open wounds which subject the tree to disease and decay. Topping causes immediate injury to the tree and ultimately results in early failure or death of the tree.

What can you grow under a maple tree? ›

Some groundcover choices are deadnettle (Lamium), pachysandra, myrtle (Vinca), and lily-of-the-valley. Lilyturf (Liriope) is a small, clumping grass-like plant that has small flowers on a central stem. There are some lovely perennials that will be happy in your location.

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation damage from tree roots? ›

Homeowners insurance usually doesn't cover tree root damage. Insurance covers sudden losses, but damage from tree roots usually happens over time. Because there is time to prevent that, coverage is often excluded. (It's considered neglect not to have addressed the problem.)

Will tree roots grow through concrete? ›

Tree roots present an even bigger potential problem for concrete surfaces. They move through cement in the same way as smaller plants, but with much greater potential energy. Trees near your concrete areas could push roots beneath and through the surface, causing expensive damage and dangerous cracks in the slab.

What trees don't crack concrete? ›

Pine trees: Pines have practically no impact on your foundation because their roots extend straight down into the soil. Japanese maple: This beautiful and popular scarlet-colored tree is frequently planted near patios and along curbsides because their roots are non-invasive.

What tree has the strongest roots? ›

The greatest reported depth to which a tree's roots have penetrated is 400 feet by a Wild Fig tree at Echo Caves, near Ohrigstad, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

Can maple tree roots damage Foundation? ›

Answer: Tree roots can damage a house foundation, with an invitation to do so. Tree roots are very opportunistic and will only grow and penetrate where it is easiest to grow such as friable soils and mulch.

Do maple tree roots cause damage? ›

They might be prized for their vibrant colour in autumn, but their root systems are one of the most invasive of all. As the roots enlarge, silver maple trees have been known to crack driveways, pavements, foundations and pipes.

Do Maple trees have good roots? ›

Dear Reader: Maple trees are noted for their shallow roots. The loss of a few roots in a post hole will not seriously harm the tree. You may have to move the holes to one side or another to avoid large roots.

How far do maple tree roots spread? ›

Most of the Maple trees have roots as deep as 12 to 18 inches from the soil surface and spreading up to a distance of 25 ft. As the tree grows in size, these roots sometimes come out of the surface. The roots present near the surface can also cause damage to the concrete sidewalks, porches and nearby buildings.

Do maple tree roots grow into sewer pipes? ›

Large trees, such as oaks and maples, grow more slowly, but eventually their roots can invade sewer lines, as well. The size of a tree's root system is about the same as the size of the tree itself, so a large oak or maple's roots can spread extensively under the earth.

How do you stop maple tree roots from growing? ›

Outside of digging your beds, lining them with hardware cloth or tough weed barrier, replacing the soil and then planting your annuals and perennials, there's really no way of keeping the tree roots out.

How far should a maple tree be planted from a driveway? ›

It's a good idea to plant red maples at least 6 feet from fences and underground pipes and wiring; 8 feet from walks, driveways and electrical transformers mounted on concrete pads; at least 15 feet from buildings, septic systems and swimming pools; and 30 feet from overhead electrical power lines.

What trees should not be planted close to a house? ›

Here are some trees you should not plant in your property.
  • Red Oak. Red oak is one messy tree. ...
  • Sweetgum Trees. Sweetgum Trees are known for their lovely fall colour. ...
  • Bradford Pear. ...
  • Lombardy Poplar. ...
  • Ginkgo biloba. ...
  • Eucalyptus. ...
  • Mulberry. ...
  • Weeping Willow.
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Are maple trees good for small yards? ›

Amur maple is a great option for a small yard. It can be grown into a small tree with a single trunk that's about four to six feet tall or a multi-stemmed clump. If an amur maple tree receives a sufficient amount of water and fertilizer, it can grow pretty quickly while it is still young.

How do I keep my maple tree small? ›

Remove any diseased branches and cut back the small branches from the lower part of the tree. Trimming the top of the tree helps to limit the height of the tree and encourages new branches to grow at the sides of the tree to give it a fuller shape. What is this?

Will tree roots grow around PVC pipe? ›

Some pipe materials are more resistant to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipe that was commonly installed by developers and private contractors until the late 1980s was easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusions to a lesser extent than clay tile pipe.

How long does it take for tree roots to grow back in sewer pipes? ›

Typically, it can take as little as 30 days or it could take many years. Additionally, the soil, erosion, and available food source of the tree roots will dictate how long it takes.

What dissolves tree roots in sewer lines? ›

Try Copper Sulfate. Copper Sulfate is also effective in killing roots in your sewer line pipes. You can get it at your local hardware store. Just pour about half a cup down the toilet and flush as many times as needed to wash it off.


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