A good rule of thumb is to plant a tree away from the house at a distance equal to one-third to one-half the maximum tree height. Therefore, how far one plants a tree from a house depends on the tree's potential height when fully matured and its habit.
The Arbor Day Foundation, explains that the habit refers to the shape of a tree. It can be spreading, oval, round, columnar or vase-shaped.
It is important to remember that a five-foot-tall red-maple sapling, for example, often grows to be 40 to 60 feet tall and 35 to 50 feet wide. Moreover, its roots can invade the house foundation if the tree is planted too close to the structure.