Buying a new home? Get your trees inspected first.
August 9, 2016
If you’re in the process of buying a new home, or building on a lot with trees, be sure to add a tree inspection to your to-do list. It’s typically a mandatory part of the home buying and building process to have the home itself thoroughly inspected; but tree inspections are often forgotten. Proper placement, species, health and structural integrity of the trees on your property can have a big impact on your home and property value.
Why inspect your trees?
The placement of your trees can shade out the lawn below, obstruct driveways or damage roofs. A tree could have a fungal disease eating it from the inside out, showing no signs of outward stress to the untrained eye. Or, perhaps the trees on your new property haven’t been pruned in years and could suffer severe breakage in the next storm.
Getting a good assessment of the trees on your new property before you buy or move in can help prevent both future property damage and a less than lush landscape.
Right tree, wrong place?
When a large tree is planted too close to the home, overhanging branches could cause a number of problems to your roof, siding, wood or even brick. Or, if you have a fruiting tree in the wrong place, falling fruit and nuts could also cause damage as they fall on your roof, car or patio. Branches in close proximity to the home can also be easy access for squirrels and other rodents to find a way inside through the roof.
Certain types of trees planted too close to the home can also cause damage to both a slab and pier and beam foundation, driveways, sidewalks, plumbing and other elements on property. Roots are an ever expanding system and they are the direct lifeline for your trees. Roots can grow around and through sewer pipes and water pipes, causing extensive damage. They can also cause sidewalks and driveways to crack and even lift from the soil. Roots are very powerful!
Love your lawn? If you have a large shade tree planted in an area you’d prefer to have a lush lawn, then you might need to choose between the tree, or the lawn. In some cases, the tree’s canopy can be restructured over time to allow for more sunlight to improve lawn health. However, no turfgrass is going to grow well in dense shade. An arborist will help you decide the best way to keep both, or help you decide if either the tree or the lawn needs to go.
Who can offer solutions?
Only a qualified and experienced arborist should be entrusted to inspect your trees. They can then offer solutions both long and short-term to extend and improve the life of your trees. You might only need seasonal pruning to get things back in shape. Or, you might have a tree that needs to be removed entirely, leaving you with a good opportunity to plant a new and better tree choice in that space.
If you recently had a home inspected and the Home Inspector suggested a tree might be a potential problem and best to remove it, call a professional arborist immediately. Only a qualified tree care professional will be able to assess the tree based on the variety, placement and overall general health, whether it needs to be removed or it can be rehabilitated and saved.