Oak Tree extremely close to a house I am contemplating buying

Asked December 29, 2018, 1:41 PM EST

Hi-I'm thinking of buying a house in Silver Spring, MD. However, there is an Oak Tree extremely close to the house (approx. 1.5 feet). I would like to remove it as I'm concerned with falling branches on the house in an ice storm/wind storm. However, I have heard that the roots can cause issues with the foundation when the tree is removed as they begin to rot and could cause foundation issues. What would you advise? Here are some pictures. Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

Usually the fear is that pressure from roots will push against a foundation wall. We are not familiar with any danger from removing this tree, which, yes, is way too close to the house.

However, as a stump and large roots decay, their volume decreases. The soil will very slowly settle and become lower. This is something to keep an eye on, because you do not want the soil near your foundation to sink and make the soil grade slant towards your foundations--carrying rainfall towards the foundation.

The solution is simple: add some top soil to raise the grade if/when you see that it has lowered or there is not a good tilt away from the foundations.