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A colleague told me that in a region where all tree removal required consent he had processed many consents for removing lemon trees and concluded they (and limes) are particularly bad at damaging concrete paths and foundations.

This is of particular interest to me since just a few months ago I planted a lemon tree not much more than 1m from the concrete foundation of our house. I don't have a lot of space so it makes sense to keep things tightly spaced, and I was intending to keep it heavily pruned.

We have a 600mm eave and it's usually quite dry under it, so towards the house is probably an undesirable direction for the roots to grow.

Can anyone confirm whether lemon trees are any worse at damaging concrete than other trees?

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No, they're not. Usually, people buy dwarf lemon tree varieties, but if they don't realise and just buy a non dwarf lemon, that'll reach 6 metres. They are rather slow growing though, and the dwarf varieties often produce suckers off the rootstock - left in situ, these will grow very rapidly and easily be taller than the tree itself rather quickly.

The most likely explanation as to why your friend is constantly being asked to remove lemon trees is that, most often, people plant them in a sheltered spot, often near paving or near the house, both for ease of access and shelter and, perhaps, sun. Certainly, if they do not buy a dwarf variety, having a 6 metre tree within a metre of a house would mean removal.

That said, 1 metre from concrete foundations is too close in my opinion - I'd be shifting it to at least 3 metres away, preferably 4 or 5 if possible.

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