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Felling a tree that’s too close to a house

arbre près de la maison
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  • 5
    July
  • Author : Emondage SBP Category : Blog Post

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Large trees contribute significantly to the magnificence and beauty of a residential property. However, if a tree is too close to the house, is it prudent to cut it down? This topic can be a great source of confusion and concern. Therefore, we’d like to offer a few clarifications on the subject.

Does the tree pose a threat to your home’s foundation?

There’s a widespread belief that the roots of a tree situated too close to a house can penetrate the concrete and cause fissures, which will eventually turn into full-fledged cracks. The truth is that tree roots seek out moisture in the soil. Near the foundation of a building, the soil is generally rather dry. What’s more, foundations usually give off heat, even during the summer months, further drying out the surrounding soil. Therefore, when a tree is growing close to a home, most of the roots have the tendency to grow away from the foundation or parallel to it, rather than toward it.

Nevertheless, if the concrete already presents structural defects, the presence of a tree may help accelerate the demise of the foundation. On the other hand, if the foundation is in good condition, a nearby tree should be no cause for concern.

What risks does a tree pose if it’s too close to a house?

Tree branches rubbing against the walls

During high winds, the branches of the tree may rub against your home’s walls or roof, which is detrimental both to the tree and to the building. In this situation, you should consider cutting the branches.

Tree branches extending over the roof

It’s also possible for a tree to grow taller than your home, in which case the branches may extend over the roof. If this is practical for keeping the home cooler in the summer, you must still clear away any leaves, pine needles or small branches that accumulate in your rain gutters. You’ll probably need to clean them more than once a year to prevent them from becoming clogged. Branches extending over a roof may also reduce the useful life of the roofing material, especially in the case of asphalt shingles, as moisture tends to remain on the roof longer under the shade of a tree.

Tree roots encroaching on pipes

While roots shy away from the dryness of concrete, they do have a penchant for water, sewer and drainpipes. However, you should be aware that they will only infiltrate pipes that are already leaky, cracked or broken or that have improperly sealed couplings. In this case, the roots can form clumps that may slow or even prevent the water from flowing.

When is it necessary to cut down a tree?

In certain situations, felling a tree may be necessary, especially if it presents a heightened risk of falling. This may be the case, for example, if the tree is diseased.

Storms and high winds are often responsible for toppling trees. As a result, there are increased risks of personal injury and damage to property, including houses, vehicles, fencing and infrastructure (power lines, signage, roads, etc.). Since we have no control over the weather, felling a tree may be necessary if it represents a grave danger. However, you’ll be happy to know that, in Quebec, you may be able to claim a tax credit for felling a hazardous tree.

The essential importance of tree maintenance

Property owners are responsible for maintaining the trees located on their land. Through proper maintenance, you can significantly reduce the risks of damage, especially in the event of a storm.

Are you considering felling a tree that’s too close to your home?

Ask the specialists at Émondage SBP for advice to help you arrive at the right decision. Our qualified team offers you high-quality arboriculture services at prices that are always competitive.

 

References:
RENOQUOTES. Pourquoi abattre un arbre? [Why cut down a tree?]
GERBAUD. Pourquoi et quand abattre un arbre? [Why and when to cut down a tree]
LAIDBACK GARDENER. Quand un arbre pousse trop près de la maison [When a tree grows too close to a house]
FOUNDATION CRACK EXPERT GROUP. Racines des arbres et fondations [Tree roots and foundations]