Should I remove a tree close to a house? This is one of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners with trees in their yards.
Trees are excellent additions to any yard. They give shade and even help in natural cooling while improving the home’s aesthetic value. However, trees can also be dangerous, especially when they are left to grow too close to the house.
When is it appropriate to remove a tree too close to a house?
Should you remove a tree that is too close to your home? The answer to this question varies. If the tree is well maintained, in good health, and does not pose any dangers to your household, trimming and pruning it to control the growth can be ideal. However, if trimming does not seem to work, tree care professionals may recommend having the tree completely removed or relocated.
Permanent tree removal is often recommended when the tree or sick or damaged, which poses a great threat to the safety of the household and other plants around it. If you feel a tree is too close to your home, the safest way to prevent a crisis is by having it removed.
Other reasons for considering tree removal include:
- Risk of permanent home devastations in case the tree falls
- High risk of pest and rodent invasion in your home
- Invasion of your yard by pest birds such as woodpeckers
While you may be hesitant to remove a tree too close to the house for fear of losing out on the benefits, it is still possible to enjoy the benefits without having the tree too close.
How far should a tree be from the house?
Generally, trees should be far enough not to cause damage to the property. How far it should be depends on a range of factors, including the tree species. You can tell if a tree is dangerously close to your home if:
- It is less than 20 feet from the home or structure
- Animals climb through the tree to your roof
- There are tree branches always hanging over the house no matter how often you trim them]
- Roots are popping to the surface too close to your home
If you notice all these signs and still don’t want to remove the tree, pruning and trimming can be excellent to keep the tree in check.
What trees should never be planted close to a house?
Most tree species should be planted far from structural buildings, ideally 20 to 40 feet away. This is due to the aggressiveness of the root system, and its tall form that poses a threat to a building.
Some of the trees you may consider planting a but far from your house include:
- White Ash – this is a fast-growing tree characterized by lateral roots that can cause damage to the foundation.
- America Elm – the roots of this tree grow shallow and close to the ground surface and can negatively impact the foundation.
- Oak – while it is one of the strongest and most attractive trees, it can cause devastation to the foundation if planted too close to the house. They should be at least 30 feet away from the house.
- Poplar – even though it is attractive and can attract good insects, the roots of the poplar are very invasive and can cause damage to the drainage system.
Apart from the poplar, most other trees can also negatively impact your sewer system and cause major blockages that can be expensive to fix.
What trees can be planted near the house?
If you must have a tree near your house, it is advisable to consider going for the short and compact species with less invasive root systems.
Some of the options to consider include:
- Crabapple trees – these trees do not grow more than 20ft, and the roots will rarely damage a foundation. They are also less prone to diseases.
- American Holly – this is a low-maintenance tree that features an evergreen appearance and can be perfect for any yard.
- Japanese Maple – This is the perfect tree to go for if you need to boost your curb appeal without worrying about causing damage to the property.
- Cornelian-Cherry dogwood – this is a simplistic, easy-to-maintain tree that is unlikely to cause damage to your house while still boosting the aesthetics of the space.
Ensuring you plant the right tree close to your house is an ideal way of ensuring you continue to enjoy the benefits they offer while protecting your house’s foundational and structural integrity.
How can you tell when a tree needs to be removed?
If you suspect the tree close to your house is causing damage, the best cause of action is to have it removed. Removing the tree involves cutting down the trunk and completely removing the stamp to avoid regrowth. To tell whether it is time to cut down a tree, you can look out for sins such as:
- Foundational damage on your property
- Recurrent structural damages caused by falling tree limbs
- Bark falling from the tee in rough patches
- Presence of termites and worms on the tree
- Leaves falling off and not growing back
- Woodpecker attacking the tree
- Limbs often fall from the tree
- cracking noises from the tree whenever the wind sways it
If you notice any of the signs above, it is best to have the tree permanently removed.
7 Safety tips to remember when removing a tree
Tree removal is a serious undertaking and a dangerous one. It is essential to ensure you undertake all the safety precautions for the process to run smoothly.
Get the right gear
In the least, you will require a protective industrial head shield, safety goggles, face shield, heavy gloves, full coverage personal protective clothing, safety chaps, ear protection, and steel-toe boots. This will ensure your body is safe from flying debris and potentially serious injuries.
Look out for power lines
If power lines are crossing through the tree’s branches, it is important to avoid undertaking the detangling process on your own. If the tree you want to remove is less than 10 feet from power line, it is best to call in professionals for the job.
Do not attempt to remove big trees
If you cannot safely remove a tree from the safety of the ground, you should consider calling in tree removal specialists. They have the right equipment to take down large trees that may require climbing up.
Protect the people around you
Ensure you block off the area around the tree, normally referred to as the falling zone. This will ensure anyone not undertaking the removal process stays away from the site. Estimate how far a tree will fall based on its size and block off the perimeter.
Get someone to help
Tree removal is always safer when done by more than one person, especially if it is a large tree. This person can be on the lookout for falling branches and advice you accordingly. They can also tell you once the tree starts to fall so you can exit the zone in good time.
Before taking on a tree removal exercise, educate yourself on the right equipment, how to use it, the weather, and the type of tree you are working on. This will ensure you are better prepared for the process.
Tree removal is an exercise that requires your full attention when undertaking. Being alert to what is happening every step of the way is the best way to prevent accidents and protect yourself and the ones around you.
The bottom line
Should I remove a tree close to a house? The option of whether to keep or remove a tree that is too close to your home depends on the factors highlighted in this article. With this information, you are better placed to determine whether to remove the tree or keep it healthy and well-maintained.