There is a weeping fig tree growing 6 feet away from our home in the neighbors yard and it is about 1.5 - 2 stories tall. I was wondering if this is hazardous to the pavement, foundation or pipes since I hear they have a vigorous root system. There are no signs of damage yet. but to prevent it from growing larger, what are things that can be done?
I also have a Sycamore tree in the front yard maybe 15 feet away from the house that is 27 years old. Should I be worried of future issues with these trees?
Most tree issues are best dealt with when they appear, except those that involve safety. If you are worried about the tree failing have a consultant (preferably an ASCA consultant), evaluate the tree for safety. That being said there are several things you can do to help mitigate damage from yours and your neighbors' trees.
1. Don’t attract the tree.
a. Trees roots grow where there is water. If your neighbor has a tree with damaging roots that you are worrying about, make sure the area on your property adjacent the tree is a low water use landscape that doesn’t attract thirsty tree roots.
2. Cut ‘em off at the pass.
a. If you are dealing with a particularly pernicious plant, like bamboo, you can trench between the roots and your property down to 3-4 feet and then install a barrier of very thick PVC plastic. You can purchase such plastic at bamboo wholesalers. Although mainly for bamboo, this barrier can work for trees as well.
3. Cut em back?.
a. Cutting the roots of your neighbors trees could cause them to fail, so do consult an arborist (see introduction) before you consider this option.