Trees can be a very beneficial part of your landscape. They can shade your yard and home from the hot sun, provide a wind block from strong breezes, and attract birds and other wildlife for you to enjoy. Unfortunately, trees can also cause damage to your home and environment if they aren't properly cared for. The following are some issues that can occur, along with methods to prevent them.
Issue #1: Siding damage
Trees growing close to the home can cause major damage to siding. This occurs from branches scraping and dragging across the siding. Over time, this can pull off vinyl siding, break wood siding, or carve the mortar out from between bricks. Another danger of branches scraping the side of the house is that they can break windows or pull off gutters.
The fix is relatively simple: prune back the offending branches. Keep trees trimmed back so that major branches cannot reach the side of the house. This isn't as simple as trimming them back on a calm day. Keep in mind that when the wind blows, the trees will sway closer to the home, so you will want to trim the branches so they are a foot or more away from the side of the house. It's also important to remove an equal amount of material on the opposite sides of the trees so the trees remain balanced.
Issue #2: Mildewed roof
Too much shade over the roof, especially when teamed up with dampness, can lead to green or black mildew and moss stains on your roof. The cause isn't just the shade from the trees, either; it can also be from fallen leaves and twigs collecting on the roof.
Much like with issues with damaged siding, the answer is trimming back the trees. It's okay for the trees to overhang the roof as long as they don't scrape against the shingles and damage them. Simply have the trees trimmed to open up the canopy a little bit so sunlight can penetrate and allow air to circulate. Also, make sure to clean collected leaves off the roof each fall. You can also have your roof treated with zinc to help kill off the moss and mildew.
Issue #3: Lawn and paving damage
Roots can spread quite far from the tree, where they may then begin to lift up. This can lead to an uneven lawn or even cracked sidewalks. Most trees have fairly deep roots, but surface roots may form and lift up during dry periods if the trees undergo drought, stress, or improper watering.
To prevent this sort of damage, water the tree deeply every one to two weeks. This means providing several gallons of water at one time—the amount depends on the tree. This infrequent deep watering encourages the trees to send out deep roots, as opposed to the shallow roots that develop when a tree is watered lightly on frequent occasions. If a root is posing a problem, a tree service such as Williams Lawn Care & Landscaping, Inc. may be able to sever it from the main tree without causing any long-lasting damage.