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Enormous wisteria & house foundations

i have recently moved into a new house which has an 85 year old wisteria growing up the back. It’s enormous with a trunk of 30cm. 
I am concerned about the potential impact on the house foundations as well as how to cut it back. 
Any advice?


  • Dave HumbyDave Humby HampshirePosts: 1,142
    Wisteria have been grown against houses since time began, well not quite I guess, but for a long time so I wouldn't be too concerned with root damage to the foundations. There are lots of good videos on You Tube on how to prune Wisteria including renovation pruning. We have 3 here and they do take some looking after for what is a relatively short flowering period of just a few weeks but get it right and they make beautiful displays. The correct pruning will encourage more flower development rather than just foliage but they do take some maintaining. Good luck.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    I wouldn't worry.  We have two whoppers here too (see my avatar), both against walls and no problems.

    For pruning, the RHS offers clear advice and 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,482
    Hello Victoria,  If you bought the house with a mortgage, then the surveyor would have flagged up any potential issues so I don't think you need to worry. Here in Bath there is also an enormous very old wisteria growing up the front of a 5 storey Georgian house in a Crescent on a hillside known for its ground stability problems. The Georgians were mainly jerry builders and most of the houses built then didn't have much in the way of foundations. 
  • For information this is the size of it!
  • Thank you for the replies. I think it needs some significant pruning!
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,090
    ...that's a work of art... 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 10,482
    I see your problem!  The most important factor in keeping that size wisteria pruned is to keep it well away from the gutters and roof, because it could easily twine under both and the stems are very strong.  To be honest, that is not a job for an amateur and I would suggest you get in a properly qualified individual to prune it twice a year which for wisteria is usually July and January. It is absolutely stunning though!
  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,961
    That is genuinely spectacular!
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,544
    It's beautiful.  Please don't start hacking away at the main framework of woody stems.  They're a work of art.

    Just make sure that you cut off any stem heading under gutters or eaves and then do the two major prunes that encourage flowers.
   For info.  They have a video as well.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • RobmarstonRobmarston south walesPosts: 333
    That wisteria is worth whatever you paid for the house! It would have been the main selling point for me! 
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