Trees are a beautiful, helpful addition to any home or property. They can improve the aesthetics of a yard and even offer much-needed shade, especially in hot summers. When buying a home, most people are often concerned with a house inspection to ensure everything around their potential new home is ok. If you are thinking of buying a house with trees around the yard in Tallahassee, Florida, you should also consider hiring a professional arborist to inspect the tree surrounding the property.
It is always a good idea to schedule a tree inspection before closing on a home. By doing so, you get to understand the complexity of the tree maintenance needs of your new home and also learn of potential tree issues you may inherit along with buying the house. Partnering with a tree removal service in Tallahassee, Florida, is the best way to learn more about the trees around your yard.
Why should you inspect your trees?
A certified tree inspector examines the placement and health of trees on a property and assesses whether it affects the property’s functions, such as drainage, foundation, or blocking natural light from the house.
A tree inspection also ensures that the property aligns with local landscaping regulations, which ensures you avoid any issues with local authorities once you start residing on the property. A certified arborist knows what to look for and can go a long way in informing your property purchasing decision. If it is a property you like but has tree issues, they can recommend tree trimming services or removal services for problematic trees in the yard.
Apart from ensuring your house meets the local regulations, a pre-purchase tree inspection is essential for safety reasons. Buying a property with uninspected problematic trees poses a huge safety risk to you and your property.
Common tree issues to watch out for when buying a home
A realtor or home inspector is good at spotting issues inside a property but may not be qualified to spot signs of a problematic tree in the yard. A certified arborist knows exactly what to look for as their primary focus is tree inspection. They will ensure that you have all the information you need to help you make the big decision on whether or not to close on the new home in Tallahassee, Florida.
Some of the issues a certified arborist will look for during a tree inspection include:
The tree species
Besides checking for issues and dangers, a tree arborist can also help identify the tree species around a property. Knowing a tree species is essential as it determines how best to care for it or even handle tree removal if you need to cut it down.
When inspecting the tree species, an arborist will also educate you on what you should expect from the trees, such as:
- Seasons changes you will see on the trees
- Maintenance requirements for the tree
- Common issues that may arise based on the tree species
Whether or not you are interested in trees, understanding the species around your potential new home is important to keep the yard well-maintained and trees healthy.
Diseased, dead, or decaying trees
Trees that are diseased, dead, or decaying are not only unattractive but can also be highly inconvenient and potentially catastrophic for your yard and home. A dead or decaying tree is a breeding ground for pests and can even fall without warning, which can cause property damage or even personal injury.
When a diseased or dead tree is in the yard, this is not a problem that can fix itself. As the new homeowner, you will need to schedule tree removal and stump grinding service to ensure you completely get rid of the issue. This can be an added expense, especially if you are on deadline with a large tree. Having the tree inspected before closing can ensure that tree removal or treatment costs do not fall on you.
Common telltale signs an arborist looks for when determining the health of a tree include:
- Damaged trunk – trees shed old barks and grow new ones as they age. A tree without bark is a common indication of failing health. The arborist inspects the tree for vertical cracks and damage on the tree trunk.
- Fungus – the presence of fungus along the tree branches or trunk is a common indication of internal rot. A rotting tree indicates a dying or already dead tree, which requires immediate removal.
- Root damage – common signs of root damage an arborist looks for include small branches popping from the base of the trunk, commonly referred to as epicormic shoots. This often indicates that the tree is under severe stress in the rooting system. Tree leaning to one side is also a common indication of damaged roots.
Tree growing too close to the house
For a potential homeowner, it is common to imagine that a tree on the front lawn adds character to the property. While this is true, having a weak tree growing too close to your house can be dangerous. This is because the tree can easily crush down on your home in case of a storm. A tree that is decades old potentially has a range of issues you may not be aware of. Even if it looks sturdy and safe, scheduling an inspection with a certified arborist in Tallahassee, Florida, is the best way to determine this. They can also tell you how best to care for the tree year-round to avoid the possibility of it falling.
Some of the questions an arborist can answer include:
- Will the tree growing close to the house require regular pruning?
- Should you expect to clean up an abundance of leaves in the fall?
- Is the tree close enough to the home to drop debris and branches in your gutters?
- Are there fruits and nuts you need to care for?
Even if a tree is not too close to the house but is big enough, the branches can pose an issue for the property. They can fall on your roof, crash through windows, or leave unmanageable debris around the yard. Knowing what to expect with huge trees or trees too close to the house makes caring for them more manageable.
Detailed Guide: Big Trees, Big Problems
Roots issues on property’s foundation
While a tree may be beautiful and healthy, it can pose a significant threat to the property’s foundation. Roots grow to find nutrients and water for growth and sustainability. Depending on the soil around the house, roots can grow into the foundation and compromise the property’s structural integrity.
For instance, if the house you want to buy sits on compact clay soil, having roots push through the soil affects the soil placement, which can cause the foundation to shift and even crack. Dirt and rock is also a common soil type that tree roots can easily displace.
A certified arborist is skilled in reading the soil type around a property and assessing the damage potential of the roots on the property’s foundation. In case there is a risk, they may recommend an emergency tree removal service followed by a stump grinding service to eliminate a rooting system too close to the property’s foundation.
This is one of the most annoying tree issues you should be aware of when buying a house with a yard. An arborist can tell you the type of insects to watch out for and if a tree on a property is currently infested.
A tree infested with pests poses numerous issues. Some bugs are known to chew on the wood and bark of a tree, rendering it unsafe. Other pests eat away at the tree and slowly kill it. If a severe infestation occurs on one tree, the pests can migrate to the other trees or shrubs around the property. The only way to know is by scheduling a tree inspection.
Besides checking for pests and insects, an arborist can educate you on other critters living in your tree, including raccoons, bees, owls, birds, and even squirrels.
What to do if the tree inspection reveals a problem
Tree issues on a property do not always indicate that you shouldn’t purchase the house. However, it plays a critical role in the decision. Severe tree issues can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to correct, an unwanted cost above the cost of buying the house. Knowing whether the trees have issues gives a bargaining advantage as you can negotiate on the property’s price to meet the cost of tree maintenance or have the current owner pay for the maintenance cost.
The bottom line
Hiring a professional company can save you thousands of dollars in tree-related expenses. If there is a tree on the property you want to buy, knowing the tree’s current health can go a long way in informing your purchasing decision and boosting your negotiation power.