Business Knowledge

Common Problems with Big Trees and How to Avoid Them

Common Problems with Big Trees and How to Avoid Them

Big trees are often cherished for their majestic presence and the sense of tranquillity they bring to outdoor spaces. However, beneath their towering canopies lies the potential for significant challenges, particularly when it comes to their root systems.

Improperly planted or positioned trees can wreak havoc on buildings, infrastructure, and landscaping, leading to costly repairs and headaches for homeowners.

In this article, we’ll explore practical strategies for avoiding and addressing common problems associated with big trees, from smart selection and placement to proactive maintenance and professional intervention.

You might also interest:

Common Problems With Big Trees and How to Address Them

Big trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape, but they can also bring along some common headaches if not managed properly. One of the most frequent issues arises when these majestic giants are planted too close to buildings, particularly houses. As they grow, their expansive canopies can sprawl over roofs, leading to a cascade of problems. Leaves dropping from these canopies can clog gutters, causing water buildup and potential damage.

Moreover, branches may break off during storms, posing a risk of damaging the roof or other parts of the structure. However, one advantage of the canopy’s growth is that it’s visible, allowing homeowners to monitor its expansion and hire professionals, such as arborists, to trim it back when needed.

Yet, while the canopy’s impact is noticeable, the real troublemaker often lurks beneath the surface: the root system. Unlike the canopy, the roots remain hidden underground, but their effects can be far-reaching and insidious. As a big tree’s roots spread out in search of nutrients and moisture, they can wreak havoc on the surrounding environment. They may undermine the foundation of nearby buildings, causing cracks to form in walls and disrupting the stability of the structure.

Additionally, these roots can infiltrate and damage sewerage pipes, leading to blockages and costly repairs. Soil subsidence, another consequence of root growth, occurs when the ground sinks or shifts due to the presence of roots, further exacerbating structural issues.

Spotting the warning signs of root-related problems early on is crucial for preventing extensive damage and costly repairs. Some common indicators that a big tree’s roots may be interfering with your home’s foundation include cracks appearing in walls, windows becoming difficult to open smoothly, and doors sticking or jamming. These signs suggest that the foundation may be compromised either by soil subsidence caused by root growth or by roots directly lifting parts of the foundation.

To mitigate these problems, homeowners with big trees near their properties should take proactive measures:

  1. Regular Inspection: Conduct periodic inspections of your property, paying close attention to signs of foundation damage or root intrusion. Early detection can help address issues before they escalate.
  2. Root Barriers: Consider installing root barriers to restrict the spread of tree roots toward buildings and infrastructure. These barriers create a physical barrier that redirects root growth away from vulnerable areas.
  3. Professional Maintenance: Hire qualified professionals, such as arborists and foundation specialists, to assess the health of your trees and address any potential risks. Regular pruning and maintenance can help manage the growth of the canopy and prevent branches from posing a hazard.
  4. Strategic Planting: When planting new trees, choose species that are less likely to cause damage to structures with their root systems. Planting at a safe distance from buildings can also reduce the risk of future problems.

Homeowners who are proactive and vigilant can relish the splendour of large trees while reducing the risks they present to their property. Managing tree growth and tackling issues related to roots are key steps in maintaining the beauty and structural soundness of your home for the long haul.

Solving Problems With Big Trees: A Comprehensive Guide

When faced with issues stemming from big trees on your property, it’s crucial to approach the situation with caution and expertise. Unlike smaller landscaping tasks, problems involving mature trees typically require the intervention of professionals. Here’s a step-by-step guide to tackling tree-related concerns effectively.

A lotus or persimmon fruit tree with lots of fruit hanging, vertical
  1. Assessment by an Arborist: The first and most critical step is to enlist the expertise of an arborist Lakeside Trees and Stumps. These trained professionals specialize in the care and management of trees and can accurately diagnose the issues affecting your tree. Schedule an inspection with a reputable arborist who can assess the health and condition of the tree in question. Arborists are skilled in identifying potential hazards such as diseased limbs, structural weaknesses, or root-related problems.
  2. Professional Intervention: Once the arborist has evaluated the tree, they will recommend the appropriate course of action. Depending on the nature and severity of the problem, this may involve tree surgery, which should only be performed by certified arborists. Tree surgery techniques such as pruning, trimming, or even selective removal of diseased branches can help mitigate risks and prolong the tree’s lifespan.
  3. Root Issues: If the tree’s roots are causing damage to property foundations or infrastructure, the arborist will devise a solution. In some cases, root pruning or installation of root barriers may be effective in managing root growth and preventing further damage. However, if the tree’s roots pose a significant risk or cannot be adequately managed, the arborist may recommend tree removal as the most prudent option.
  4. Navigating Legalities: It’s essential to be aware of any legal regulations or restrictions regarding tree removal, especially for protected species. Depending on your location, you may need to obtain council approval before proceeding with tree removal. Your arborist can assist you in navigating these legalities and provide the necessary documentation, such as an arborist report, to support your case. An arborist report typically includes detailed information about the tree, its condition, and the reasons for removal, which can help expedite the approval process.
  5. Professional Execution: Once all necessary approvals are obtained, the arborist will proceed with the removal or treatment of the tree as per their recommendations. It’s crucial to entrust this task to experienced professionals equipped with the proper tools and safety equipment to ensure the job is carried out safely and efficiently.
  6. Post-Removal Care: Following tree removal or treatment, your arborist may provide guidance on post-care maintenance to ensure the health and safety of your property. This may include recommendations for replanting, soil management, or ongoing tree care practices to mitigate future issues.

By following these steps and relying on the expertise of qualified arborists, you can effectively address problems associated with big trees on your property while ensuring the safety and longevity of your landscape. Remember, when it comes to tree care and management, professional intervention is key to achieving optimal results and preserving the beauty and integrity of your outdoor environment.

Avoiding Problems With Big Trees

While big trees can enhance the beauty and value of your property, improper planting and placement can lead to a host of issues, particularly concerning their root systems. To avoid potential headaches down the road, it’s essential to make informed decisions when selecting and positioning trees on your property. Here are some helpful tips to guide you:

  1. Choose Wisely: Not all trees are created equal when it comes to root expansion and potential for causing damage. Before planting, research different tree species to identify those with non-invasive root systems or that are suitable for your specific environment. Trees such as weeping figs (Ficus benjamina), jacaranda, Philodendron selloum, and silky oak are known for their expansive root systems and should be avoided near buildings or infrastructure.
  2. Consider Mature Size: One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is underestimating the eventual size of a tree. Before planting, consider the mature height and canopy spread of the tree species you’re interested in. As a general guideline, arborists recommend planting trees at least one to 1.5 times the height of their mature size away from structures. For instance, if a tree is expected to reach a height of 10 meters, it should be planted 10 to 15 meters away from the house.
  3. Consult with an Arborist: When in doubt, seek professional advice from a qualified arborist. Arborists possess the expertise to assess your property’s unique conditions and recommend suitable tree species and planting locations. By conducting a thorough site evaluation, an arborist can identify potential risks and help you make informed decisions to prevent future problems.
  4. Plan for Space and Growth: Before planting, carefully consider the available space and potential growth of the selected tree species. Avoid overcrowding by planting trees too close together, as this can lead to competition for resources and inhibit proper growth. Additionally, consider the impact of a tree’s mature size on nearby structures, utilities, and landscaping features.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Once trees are established, ongoing maintenance is crucial to ensure their health and longevity. Schedule regular inspections by an arborist to monitor tree growth, detect potential issues early, and implement appropriate pruning or maintenance measures as needed.
  6. Be Mindful of Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and ordinances regarding tree planting and removal, especially for protected or heritage trees. Obtain any necessary permits or approvals before making significant changes to your landscape to avoid potential legal complications.

Remember, thoughtful planning and professional guidance are key to ensuring the health, safety, and beauty of your landscape.


Big trees are the giants of nature’s tapestry, embodying strength, beauty, and the ability to overcome. Their grandeur carries the duty of careful stewardship to ensure they contribute positively to our living spaces.

Listening to arborists, choosing the right tree species, and planning their location thoughtfully allows homeowners to create landscapes that will thrive for many years. It’s about celebrating the grandeur of these trees and understanding the significance of responsible care, so their presence remains a harmonious part of our homes and neighborhoods.