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by JoAnn Bothun
(Rochester, MN)

There is a silver maple in the backyard of the house where I am living and someone told me that I need to get that out of there as the roots will buckle the basement. The tree is probably 12-15 feet away from the house but now I am really concerned about this tree. It is a beautiful shade tree but not sure what to do.

Hi JoAnn, I’m thinking that it would be best to get the advice of an arborist who can come and check on the trees location, as well as how vigorous it it.

Many silver maples can reach an amazing size, so it’s possible that 12-15 feet won’t be enough room once it reaches it’s mature height. Think of it this way: The mature size of these trees is 40-100 feet tall, with an equal spread. This means that the tree will overhang the house by over 5′, dropping leaves in the gutters every fall. It’s possible that this is a beautiful tree in the wrong spot.

Was the person who gave you this advice an expert of some kind? I would rely more on someone who has a lot of experience with this aspect of trees.

Hope it all works out, and you can keep the tree. Did you know that in some cases, larger trees can be salvaged and sold to landscapers who will dig them with minimal disturbance with a Vermeer tree spade, so you can replant a less invasive type of tree? Something to look into.

Best of luck,