Strength and patience is all it takes!

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

    When I tell people that trees too close to the house can create problems with the foundation, I am sometimes met with skepticism.  After all, how can a measly piece of wood move heavy concrete?  Well trees do it one cell at a time.  As the tree grows it can exert tremendous force on the wall leading to cracking or even collapse of the wall.

     When I first looked at the wall in the picture below I thought that perhaps someone had run into it with a vehicle----as it is a barrier wall at the parking area in front of the wall.

Who whacked my wall?

     But on the “tree side” of the barrier, one can clearly see that it is the tree that is slowly moving the wall.

I did it said the tree!

    One cell at a time.

 

 

Charles Buell

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Rainmaker
347,278
Pat O'Reilly
RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth - Irving, TX

Trees are great but this one seems a might bit close...and I think the wall will lose.

Dec 19, 2009 01:26 AM #1
Rainmaker
384,242
Kathleen Cooper
Kathleen Cooper, Sposato Realty Group - Worcester, MA
Sposato Realty Group - Broker Owner

Great visual to help explain what you are trying to tell consumers.  Sometimes they don't listen, but they can't deny what they see right in front of them!

Sincerely,

Kathleen

Dec 19, 2009 01:29 AM #2
Ambassador
1,334,262
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Pat, I think you are correct:)

Kathleen, thanks----a picture is worth a thousand words.

Dec 19, 2009 01:39 AM #3
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Trees near a home can cause all sorts of different problems. This is a great illustration of the mighty tree root.

Dec 19, 2009 01:56 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,560,731
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Which came first, the tree or the wall?!?  I hope the tree isn't cut down as a result.  I like living things . . .

Dec 19, 2009 03:23 AM #5
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I've seen people not interested in pruning or anything until you show them pictures such as these...
Your friend in Lacey,
Paul

Dec 19, 2009 05:18 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm sorry, but I think it was the golf cart in the next driveway.

Dec 19, 2009 05:25 AM #7
Rainmaker
317,467
Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Charles, I don't know why people think that a tree can't move concrete.  I've seen it many times over the years.  One cell at a time!

Dec 19, 2009 05:29 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,244,581
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr Charles,

Would the same information apply to roots from dahlias or carnations or wild buttercups.

Nutsy wants to know.

Nutsy

Dec 19, 2009 06:52 AM #9
Rainmaker
186,651
Tanya Nouwens
RE/MAX ROYAL (JORDAN) INC. / Tanya Nouwens Inc. www.readysetsold.ca - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Real Estate Broker & Stager

That's just nuts(y)!  OK, OK, then. I guess my husband was right. I won't plant the tree near our bedroom window at the corner of my house so that I can hear the leaves rustling at night. Fine then! (stomps up the stairs) I hope you're happy, mister. (And if my husband asks, we never had this conversation.) -- Tanya in Montreal

Dec 19, 2009 07:00 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,244,581
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mrs Tanya,

I think it is Nutsy too but he does not answer our questions in a proper manner.

Nutsy, wondering about potted plants and root damage as well

Dec 19, 2009 07:29 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,849,772
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

In fact, I'm sure it was the golf cart in the next driveway.

Tree?  I don't see a tree.

Dec 19, 2009 08:26 AM #12
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1,155,077
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Great job, my friend, reminding folks how trees can really be a force in moving/ damaging concrete.

The visuals definitely aided in proving your point.

Well done Charles!

Dec 19, 2009 09:19 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,062,041
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

I got to cut down a too-close tree this year.  It came up from a tiny acorn and I nourished it and loved it and it didn't respect me.  It was tearing up the walkway and threatening the house.  It acted, I guess, like a lot of kids.  Cost several hundred to teach it a lesson. 

Dec 19, 2009 10:59 AM #14
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1,334,262
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

James, thanks

Carla, the wall came first

Paul, most professional landscapers do a pretty good job----but the untrained plant all kinds of things right against the house
 
Jay---yes the golf cart use to be twice as long:)

Susan----trees are VERY patient:)

Nutsy---and in-grown nose hairs too

Tanya---sorry:)

Nutsy get lost

Craig, thanks----pictures are worth a thousand words as they say

Dec 19, 2009 10:59 AM #15
Rainer
65,823
Shoshana Shay
St. Pete Realty - Treasure Island, FL

What a great photo!  Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

And I respectfully suggest that if Nutsy lets a potted plant fall on his head he will discover how cells can be moved... maybe more than one cell at a time.

Dec 19, 2009 02:38 PM #16
Rainmaker
101,582
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent

Charles,

Great Post.  Sometimes it is worth listening to an expert.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Dec 22, 2009 09:07 AM #17
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1,334,262
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Shoshana your honest support of Nutsy is appreciated

Thanks Matt

Dec 22, 2009 09:32 AM #18
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