How To Deal With Trees Growing Too Closely To The House

Although landscape trees provide shade and beauty to your property, they can also cause damage. Trees of the greatest concern tend to be those that grow too close to your home. 


There are three main concerns when the tree is sited close to the home.  

1. Roof Damage

Roof damage is the most obvious issue when the problem is a large shade tree. Branches may scrape across the roof, ripping off shingles. If a branch breaks, it can puncture the roof and cause major damage. There are also issues with the shade and moisture caused by a large tree, as these can lead to moss growth on the roof that will trap moisture and shorten shingle life.

2. Foundation Damage

Trees growing too close to a foundation are a well-known problem. Although roots can sometimes force their way into foundation cracks and make them worse, this isn't the main cause for concern. Tree roots pull a lot of moisture out of the soil, which can lead to soil shrinkage as it dries out. This loosens the soil around the foundation and causes soil movement, which can lead to a shifting foundation that develops cracks and leaks. In the case of a slab foundation, roots beneath the foundation may even lift it up.

3. Exterior Wall Damage

Even the walls of your home aren't safe when a tree is growing too close to the house. Much like the roof, branches can scrape against the siding and cause major damage, even tearing some of the siding off. High winds that cause major branch movement can lead to broken windows as the branches bang into the side of the house. 


Fortunately, there are several ways to minimize or even fully prevent the damage.

1. Tree Removal

The quickest way to solve potential tree issues is to simply remove the tree. This is especially necessary for trees that show signs of disease or decline, as they pose a greater danger of dropping branches on the roof or falling onto the house.

2. Careful Trimming

For healthy trees that you want to keep, a good trim may be all that's needed. Your tree service can remove the lower limbs on the trunk so the crown is lifted well above the roof, which will reduce the chances of damage to both the siding and the roof. Large, heavy branches that overhand the house may also require removal.

3. Root Barriers

For roots that grow too close to the foundation, your tree service can use a trench-cutting method to sever them from the trunk so they will no longer grow toward the house. They will then insert a root barrier into the ground so new roots can't grow toward the foundation.

Contact a tree cutting service for help in determining the best prevention option for your situation.