Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,072
Rewards Points: 506
Blog Entries: 7
Default

Large old tree close to house


So at the moment I have estimate requests out to 4 companies and one has committed to come out for an estimate next Tuesday. I'm getting estimates before I apply for financing on a project to install a foundation, I have a home on a crawlspace that was built in 1917 and basicly I don't have a foundation.

Anyway, before anything final is done, I wanted to review whether I have any other alternatives. I am planning to change the front room back to a porch, and making it a smaller porch is not out of the question if reducing the footprint would make a difference in whether the tree has to be removed.

So the basic layout is that the tree, which probably has a trunk that's around 4' in diameter, is roughly 5' from the house adjacent to this front room.

I'm guessing that there is probably no realistic way the tree could be kept, and this is something to discuss with the arborists that come out for estimating, but is there anyone that could advise on if there is a distance where the tree could be kept? 10 feet? 15 feet?


__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.
WillK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,753
Rewards Points: 1,020
Default

Large old tree close to house


Will, it will be interesting to hear what the arborists have to say, but in general, I have been told, and have seen verification, that it is common for roots to extend as far as the drip line, i.e. as far as the longest branches. There are exceptions of course, as when a sufficient footing prevents the roots from reaching out as they otherwise would, or when there is an abundance of water closer to the trunk of the tree, but seeming to recall that you described an almost nonexistant footing in another post, I would not be surprised if you found that the roots from that tree pass right under your house, and in fact probably under your driveway as well. On the other hand, if they don't extend that far, you could still have a bad situation in that the tree could be more subject to being literally blown over in a strong wind. As if people in SE MI aren't already having enough problems with electrical power distribution!

DexterII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,252
Rewards Points: 2,082
Default

Large old tree close to house


One very good reason for removing a tree close to a house is if the tree falls over in a wind storm, it will destroy your house, and may injure or kill the occupants. Another reason is that branches in direct contact with the roof allow all sorts of creatures and insects direct access to your house. And a third reason is the roots can damage the foundation. I had a large tree further from my house than the one you have, when a large limb came down in a wind storm, I had it removed the next day.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,072
Rewards Points: 506
Blog Entries: 7
Default

Large old tree close to house


Estimating an angle of my arm at 45 degrees and finding where I could sight down my arm to see the top of the tree, then pacing off the distance to the tree (in other words, using imprecise methodology suitable only for estimation) I estimate the trees height to be 75 feet, probably more.

The fact is that no matter where in the yard this tree was it would have the potential to take out my entire house and probably another house next door with damage to a third house at the same time.

The tree is definitely the biggest of any near it, there are others as tall but they're all near rear lot lines that I can see looking around my street.

Come to think of it, 2 houses ago I probably had a tree of similar side that was on the opposite side of the driveway from the house. It had some pre-existing problems at a split in the trunk, and half of it fell down in a wind storm. Landed on the fence, so we used the fence money from the insurance to replace chain link with wooden privacy fence, and insurance paid for removal of the half that didn't fall.

Noting that I'm a lay person, I may be wrong about this tree, but I'd recognize the kind of rot we had on the tree that fell at a previous house, and with that said I don't really see any signs of trouble on this tree... It does cover a significant part of the house, so between these and the expense of removal, it just makes me think that I wouldn't be doing my due dilligence if I didn't explore the possibility that the tree could stay.

All told, I know that if money was no object, the tree should go and the resultant solar exposure of the roof should be utilized with solar panels of some sort, even if the benefit of the energy generated wasn't as much as it would be in a climate with more direct sunlight, at least I would mitigate the loss of shade.
__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.
WillK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #5
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,072
Rewards Points: 506
Blog Entries: 7
Default

Large old tree close to house


Here's a view from above captured from Yahoo maps, the roof in brown is my house, the tree that covers it and the other house visible in the image is the tree in question, this picture dates to before my ownership of the house.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.
WillK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2011, 09:19 PM   #6
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,072
Rewards Points: 506
Blog Entries: 7
Default

Large old tree close to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
Will, it will be interesting to hear what the arborists have to say, but in general, I have been told, and have seen verification, that it is common for roots to extend as far as the drip line, i.e. as far as the longest branches. There are exceptions of course, as when a sufficient footing prevents the roots from reaching out as they otherwise would, or when there is an abundance of water closer to the trunk of the tree, but seeming to recall that you described an almost nonexistant footing in another post, I would not be surprised if you found that the roots from that tree pass right under your house, and in fact probably under your driveway as well. On the other hand, if they don't extend that far, you could still have a bad situation in that the tree could be more subject to being literally blown over in a strong wind. As if people in SE MI aren't already having enough problems with electrical power distribution!
Actually, as I said yes I don't have a foundation... As an interim measure, I've been working on putting in footings to support beams and I've certainly found significant roots from this tree in a footing that is at least 20' from the tree and have yet to do any footings closer.

That's part of what prompted the question here... I did some searching about how close a tree can be to a house, but the problem was that everyone spoke of either planting new trees or the kind of damage you can see to a foundation - never exactly talking about the risks and consequences of an existing tree that is too close to the house an its existing root system under the house that has grown over the course of decades with no foundation to limit where it grew.

And there certainly was significant root intrusion into the sewer pipes under the driveway, which we've had replaced.

The one thing that is probably generally safe would be the electrical power distribution system. The overhead power comes from the rear lot line, and I'm not sure this would quite reach that far.
__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.

Last edited by WillK; 07-22-2011 at 09:22 PM.
WillK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Freeport Maine
Posts: 484
Rewards Points: 250
Default

Large old tree close to house


That tree is not healthy. in your second picture it looks to me like two smaller trees grew together to form what you are referring to as one tree. The problem with this is that where the trunks branched away from one another (about 20' up) has created an entry point for water/rot/fungus. Thats not to say that the tree is a real danger NOW,...but it will be if my assumption is correct. In fact, it could have a rotten core all the way from that crotch down to the ground.

You need to have an arborist out to look at it.
1910NE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 12:43 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 9,519
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Large old tree close to house


If the tree is healthy, I'd leave it. If not, take it down.
As long as the tree isn't effecting the houses structure, I wouldn't remove a good tree.
__________________
Ron
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
B. Franklin 1759
Ron6519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
I ask the impossible!
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 1,072
Rewards Points: 506
Blog Entries: 7
Default

Large old tree close to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
If the tree is healthy, I'd leave it. If not, take it down.
As long as the tree isn't effecting the houses structure, I wouldn't remove a good tree.
Well, I know this is not one expects, but the issue is that the house's structure is going to affect the tree. The house is supported by cement blocks on dirt, not a proper foundation. I will be having a 12" wide by 42" deep foundation wall excavated and poured under the perimeter. In the image attached below, it will be placed where the red shows the outline of the house, and the red box nearest the street shows where a front room has been made which I intend to convert back into a porch that I assume it was originally.

The circle shows roughly where the tree trunk is, and presumably the proximity means that significant amounts of root structure are going to be cut out by the foundation installation.

But if I was doing the house foundation with a samller porch or no foundation under the porch, maybe less root structure is affected and the issue for me is whether there is any possible way of configuring the foundation that avoids the necessity of removing the tree.

I suspect that the answer is probably no, and if I was going by what responses I have here I haven't heard anything to convince me otherwise, but I know that ultimately the expert opinion of those arborists with whom I request estimates is probably going to be the last word on the subject.

__________________
Please do NOT consider any "before" picture of my house as any kind of endorsement of any particular construction method. In fact, you should probably assume that if I post a "before" picture, I am posting it because I am soliciting advice on a proper replacement for one of MANY things done wrong by a previous owner.
WillK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
replumbing an old house simonfrog Plumbing 7 01-30-2012 04:45 AM
Wiring Size Calculations for New Service CorinthWest Electrical 7 12-07-2010 11:36 AM
installing whole house filter on outside of house MikeInFL Plumbing 3 06-12-2010 04:47 PM
Patio roof to house attachment question mikemobile Building & Construction 1 09-30-2008 07:51 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.