Here in Utah, we love our trees! Hot summers can be eased by the shade of a beautiful tree. Trees are vital for the environment. They provide oxygen, shed, and food, improve air quality, conserve soil and water, and shelter the wildlife. But homeowners also go to great lengths to plant trees around the house.
Thanks to regular tree trimming and pruning, trees can add a curb appeal to your home and even boost their value. According to social-scientist Kathleen Wolf, homes with trees fetch an average of 7% more value than those without any trees. In high-income areas, it could be as high as 10%-15%.
Trees can also reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25%. Average homeowners can save between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually. It’s no surprise trees are an essential part of outdoor landscaping.
However, without proper care and placement, trees may destroy your house.
How Trees Can Destroy Your Home and Vehicles
You want your home to look stunning. We get it. However, you can’t plant trees randomly around your house for aesthetics. It can destroy your home and vehicles.
- Damage to Foundation
Although tree roots grow slowly, they will keep growing in any direction, looking for water and nutrients. And in doing so, they displace the soil around them. If the roots reach your foundation in search of water and nutrients, they can cause significant damage to even the concrete foundation. Tree roots also find their way through existing cracks in the foundation, causing them to expand.
- Damage to House and Vehicles
Overhanging tree branches are also a serious safety hazard. Without tree trimming, these branches will keep growing in size. When a storm hits, these overhanging branches may break and fall on your roof directly. It’ll destroy your property, not to mention injure your loved ones. Similarly, falling branches can damage your car and other property.
- Damage to Plumbing
Drainage-filled pipes are like a magnet for tree roots. Many invasive species of trees tend to grow their roots into these pipes. In some cases, they might end up blocking your entire drainage line. It is also not uncommon for tree roots to burst underground pipes and plumbing.
- Damage to Landscape
Without proper tree trimming and pruning, many invasive trees will take over the space intended for other plants. With trees spaced too close, their roots will grow deeper and wider in search of water and nutrients. They will steadily and silently loosen the soil around your pavers, walkways, and asphalt, which will eventually buckle, bulge, or crack.
How to Keep Trees from Destroying Your Home and Vehicles
By now, you must’ve understood that you can keep trees from destroying your home and vehicles with careful planning. These simple steps can help you arrest the potential damage tree roots and branches can cause.
Here’s what you can do.
- Choose the Right Trees
When selecting different varieties of trees for your landscaping, choose the ones that are best suited for Utah weather. Also, there are a few tree species such as Aspens, American Elms, and silver maples with invasive root systems. These tree roots can reach deep and wide in search of water and nutrients and destroy your foundation and landscape.
- Choose the Right Locations
Choosing the right location is equally important. Whenever you decide to plant a tree, consider how far and deep its roots will grow. Trees have different root systems. While some trees will have roots that grow straight down, others will have shallow root systems that sprout laterally.
If you are planting trees 10-12 feet from your house, consider the species with deep lateral root systems. They are less likely to invade your foundation, other plants, or the landscape. You can also consult a residential and commercial tree services company. They can help you plant the trees in the right locations.
- Practice Preventive Landscaping
You must understand that roots will keep growing forever as trees need water and nutrition. Despite your best planning and care, roots may still invade different parts of your house. To avoid or minimize this risk, you will have to practice preventive landscaping.
You can install root barriers before planting trees. This is the most non-invasive and least painful way to keep the roots in check. Talk to a tree care services company to understand where, when, and how you can install root barriers. These barriers will divert the roots deep into the ground and save your foundation from damage.
You can also cut down invasive roots. However, you have to be very careful as cutting down roots may also kill trees. Grinding down intrusive roots often wounds the trees, creating pathways for pathogens that could lead to deadly diseases. It’s best to hire tree trimming and pruning experts for this job. They can cut down offending roots without harming the trees.
- Regular Tree Trimming
Overgrown tree branches are a safety hazard. But it also affects tree health. Without trimming, trees may not be able to survive. Lack of trimming also leads to unbalanced and deformed growth of the foliage, which sticks out like a sore thumb. In other words, tree trimming is more than just a fancy haircut. It is a critical health regime.
You should consider hiring an experienced Utah tree trimming professional to keep your trees fit. They can help you prevent future problems that could cost you more money.
- Tree and Stump Removal
If you have a tree stump, consider removing it immediately. Besides being an eyesore, tree stumps are also a safety hazard. The possibility of a child or your neighbor tripping over the stump and getting injured is very high. You might as well have an expensive lawsuit on your hands in no time.
But most importantly, tree stumps can be a breeding ground for insects, mold, and other pests. If left unchecked, it can quickly spread to other areas of your garden. Moreover, alive and well, roots from the stump will continue to grow in search of water and nutrients. They can damage your foundation, pathways, and landscaping installations. You need to remove the tree stump as soon as possible.
However, this isn’t a DIY job. You will have to call a tree stump removal service company. Being experts, they know how to remove the stump without damaging other areas of your garden or landscape.
While trees bring many benefits like curb appeal, cool air, shed, higher property value, and lower energy costs, they can also cause damage when planted without care. As it happens, homeowners have to watch out for the two most common tree-related hazards, overhanging branches, and tree roots. Hopefully, these five tips will help you keep trees from destroying your home.