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Thread: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

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    Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    Now that our pool is getting near completion, we've started to think about planting 4 trees in the backyard (along with other landscaping).
    Because of the surrounding houses, I'd like to place the trees in specific spots for privacy, especially from the neighbor's 2 story house.

    What is a safe distance from the pool that a tree should be planted? Obviously it will depend on the mature tree size I assume. Should the full grown tree canopy not extend over the pool (because the rule of thumb is that the roots grow as big as the crown, right?) Would the roots cause a problem to the shell of the pool?

    Ideally this is where we'd like the trees planted and the distance I estimate the trunk would be from the edge of the pool.



    You can see the neighbor's houses here that I'm trying to put a tree in front...


    The other two trees would go in the back corners, one on each side...

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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    It depends on what type of tree. Personally I would keep anything with lots of leaves away from the pool. I have 10 or so palm trees (small and big) and since they don't lose their leaves it is pretty easy to maintain my pool.
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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    I'll probably go with deciduous trees which of course only lose their leaves once per year in the winter but are very clean the rest of the year. Trees that are "evergreen" lose leaves slowly all year and that's more of a headache I think.

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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    I believe your concern is root intrusion into the pool. It shouldn't be too much of an issue since your pool is gunite. For vinyl liner pools there is just a hardpack that the roots have to make it through. Depending on the type of tree roots can be more shallow and spread out more. I suppose if they are digging holes and planting somewhat mature trees they can put cinder blocks on the side towards the pool to discourage the roots from growing too far in that direction? I think you may have to talk to a tree expert on this one for better advice, or at the very least combine their knowledge with what people on here tell you.
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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    I'll second (third?) that it depends on the type of tree. Some have more aggressive water-seeking roots than others. We have a live oak that is less than 6 feet from the pool, and it hasn't caused any problems. It was already there when we put the pool in over 13 years ago.

    Even though it is evergreen, it sheds pretty much all at once in the spring with new leaves immediately replacing the older ones. It also drops acorns in the autumn and pollen in the summer. (I wouldn't have chosen to have it so close to the pool except there was no place to put the pool that wasn't near an oak, and I love the oaks as much as I love the pool.)

    I guess where I'm going with this is that having a tree near-ish the pool is certainly an option. It comes with both pros and cons. Find someone who understands the trees in your area and get advice from them.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    I spoke with the pool builder and they said trees shouldn't be planted closer than 5-6 ft away from the pool edge, so if we stay at least that far, we'll be ok.
    Smaller trees, like pygmy palms, can be planted right next to the pool no problem, since they have very small and fragile root balls.

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    cbink's Avatar
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    Re: Safe distance to plant trees from pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by HX_Guy
    I spoke with the pool builder and they said trees shouldn't be planted closer than 5-6 ft away from the pool edge, so if we stay at least that far, we'll be ok.
    Smaller trees, like pygmy palms, can be planted right next to the pool no problem, since they have very small and fragile root balls.
    Yes, depends on the tree. I have a triple pygmy and 2 Sylvester palms in planters next to the pool - did a lot of research and spoke to various nurseries about it first. The roots on these go straight down so no likely harm to a gunite pool.
    38'x24' freeform IG gunite, 26k gallons, 3.5' - 7'
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