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I have a 17 year old huge mulberry tree in my backyard, about 29 ft from the house. Also it's close to the backyard drainage. Is that OK or could it harm the house foundation?

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During an extensive remodel we found 5” diameter Mulberry tree roots under our slab as we cut open the subfloor to run new waste lines. These roots were found over 50 feet away from the tree! I’d never plant a Mulberry near any structure. In addition to extensive and potentially harmful root systems they are a pain to care for, requiring annual thinning and topping as well as constant leaf pickup during the fall. They do provide tons of shade, are fast growing and fun for the kids to climb, but be careful where you plant a Mulberry.

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How wide is the tree's canopy? In general, a tree's root system spans 1.5 times the tree's canopy, but even so, a large tree twenty-nine feet from a house should pose no damage to your foundation. I have two Norway maples on the "terrace" (hell-strip) less than that from my house and they've caused no issues to my house's foundation.

As for the drainage, it should help, rather than hinder, the draining of water from your property if the drainage area is within the tree's root zone because the roots will take up the water that percolates through the soil in that area. I would not worry about this tree.

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