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Sweetgum Tree near house - risky?


Would you say a 25ft sweetgum (Liquid Ambar) tree about 3m from a house is likely to cause issue? It's a house we are looking at and looking closer I can see the driveway has some buckling. From reading other forums apparently the roots for this are v shallow and aggressive. I had just thought poorly laid drive originally.

If we were to cut the tree down (which would be a shame) I have also read mention that the roots which possibly extend under the house would be a nightmare to get rid of and would sprout up if that is the term!

Any thoughts on this type of tree and proximity to houses. The US seems full of horror stories about it cracking drains


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,827

    I have a friend in Belgium who has one of these planted about 25' from her house and absolutely no problems whatsoever.     A lot depends on the age of your house, how well it was built and also what kind of soil you have.  Clay soils can suffer subsidence form fluctuating water content caused by heavy rain, drought and trees consuming water.

    I suggest you have a read of this article on the RHS website -  

    Last edited: 13 March 2017 22:41:04

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Three meters is a bit close, but I doubt very much whether liquidambar, which would have been pot grown, or root balled (therefore a root system that has been tampered with and a bit reduced in vigour), will have the sort of extensive root spread that some other trees can produce, especially self-seeded ones like sycamore, willow, cherry, or ash.  However, if the house is right, surely the tree must come second in your priorities. I do admire your consideration for the tree!


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