planting trees near houses


Are there any trees , (ideally with thick foliage) that you can plant near a house in Toronto. By near I mean a foot and a half away from the foundation.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about trees that are suitable to plant near a house.

You do not specify the local growing conditions where you want to plant the tree – amount of sun, type of soil, amount of exposure to the elements, etc.

Based on the information you provided, I suggest an evergreen tree with a columnar habit, and one that doesn’t grow too tall. Here are some ideas.

  1. Thuja occidentalis ‘Degroot’s Spire’ (Eastern White Cedar)

This is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a narrow, columnar growth habit. It grows at a slow rate, and should reach a height of about 9 feet at maturity and a spread of 24 inches.

This shrub needs full sun to partial shade and average to moist soil, good drainage and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It grows best when planted in a relatively sheltered location.

  1. Picea glauca ‘Conica’ (dwarf Alberta spruce) height 6 feet, spread 5 feet
  2. Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’ (Hicks yew) height 10 feet, spread 3 feet.

These latter two choices grow at a relatively slow rate and have similar growing requirements, but are wider than Degroot’s Spire.

Make sure that your site location matches the growing requirements of the tree you select.

No matter what variety of tree you choose, proper planting is vital. Even a healthy tree ideally suited to your location will suffer, and even die, if it is incorrectly planted and not cared for post-planting.  Planting instructions are included in the above hedging guide. For more detailed tree planting information, check out our Planting a Tree for Life Guide.