Tree vs Sidewalk…an epic and frequent battle

August 12, 2016

From time to time, we come across battles between nature and man made objects. Often times, nature wins. While we can’t control the weather, we pay close attention to it. We also can’t control mother nature, and yet we’ve seen her warning signs when we don’t pay attention. We see them daily.

We’ve talked on this blog and on our website about where to plant (and not plant) trees. Here’s an extreme example of what a tree will do to your sidewalk if the sidewalk is placed in the wrong place:

foundation solutions in Texas
foundation solutions in Austin, TX

While these photos are extreme, it should prove a point. The tree that was removed that’s impacting this sidewalk was almost 100 years old. It’s not the tree’s fault the sidewalk looks like this today. At some point, a city leader or construction person decided it would be ok to lay concrete right here, between the street and the home…with a large, mature tree in between.

If we could go back in time and see the impact of this tree, it would likely have been immediate–as in cracks would have formed in the freshly poured concrete shortly after it cured.

The tree has been cut down today. The stump remains. And the damage to the public sidewalk is not only unsightly, it’s a tripping and safety hazard for any pedestrian using the sidewalk!

BE mindful of your home’s foundation and planting trees the same way. Remember, the canopy of the tree is a reflection on the root ball you don’t see. So if the canopy is covering part of your house, be aware that the root ball (seeking moisture and nutrients) is under that same canopy…and under your house. Roots can cause many problems with not only your foundation but your walls, floors, and plumbing.