While a tall, majestic tree growing near a house might sound like a good idea as it grows large enough to provide cooling shade, planting a tree too close to a house can create a host of problems. As the tree grows to maturity, the root system will grow large beneath the soil, possibly encroaching on the foundation. Tree limbs can also damage the house if they fall on the house or scrape the siding.
Find out how large the tree you wish to plant will become upon maturity. If you're shopping at a garden centre, ask a knowledgeable salesperson how large the tree will grow. If you are buying online, look at the tree description to learn the mature size. Know the projected height, canopy and whether the tree has shallow roots.
Select a planting location that is about 30 feet away from your house for a medium tree and a location about 50 feet away from your house for a large tree. If you are planting a small tree-- a fruit tree for example--plant it at least 8 feet away from the house.
Look up before you finish selecting the planting location. Make sure power lines are not hanging over the planting area because a medium or large tree will grow to interfere with the power lines. Look around within the immediate vicinity of the planting area. If you see paved areas -- driveways or sidewalks -- a tree may interfere with these paved areas if it has shallow roots.