So, what are the chances of a tree falling on a house? Can a house withstand a tree falling on it?
First off, we need to state that trees falling on cars and buildings aren’t quite common. That notwithstanding, there are still cases of such happening.
This is especially true during heavy storms or thunder strikes, among other natural conditions.
Will Your Tree Fall on Your House?
There’s also the likelihood of trees accidentally falling on homes during removal. A miscalculation might cause the tree to fall where it wasn’t intended to.
However, the chances of such accidents can be limited by calling for professional help during tree removal.
How to Tell If A Tree Will Fall
It’s common to find trees growing around structures or buildings. These offer many benefits, including shade, ornamental value, food (fruits), and many others.
Apart from the many benefits offered, there are also risks attached to having them growing too close. There have been cases of trees falling on homes.
Is it a Bad Idea to Plant Trees near Buildings?
In seeking to find answers regarding the probability of trees falling on houses, it’s necessary to take a look at their proximity to your homes. Tree sizes matter when determining the planting or growing distance to maintain from your home.
For example, small trees (those with typical heights of 30 ft or less) must be planted 8 to 10 ft away from your home or building.
Slightly larger or medium-sized trees with heights of around 70 ft. will need to be planted at least 15 ft. away from your home.
Larger trees, on the other hand, are those with heights of about 70 ft. or more. These should be grown at least 20 ft. from your home.
The reason for such spacing is simple; it helps prevent all sorts of issues that range from subsidence and structural damage and injuries from falling limbs or branches.
How Often Do Trees Fall on Houses and Why?
A tree or its limb can fall on a house due to multiple factors.
Ordinarily, tree roots spread wide enough to anchor it to the ground. These roots can be twice the radius of the tree’s branches. A tree may topple over when its conditions aren’t right.
Chances of a tree falling on a house increase when large trees grow in rocky soil. Also, thinning can hurt tree stability. What more? Construction activities may cause damage to tree roots.
Wind throw is another condition that could occur due to much wind resistance.
If the tree has suffered or sustained damage in the past, it’s likely to be weakened, making it more likely to topple over. To have a better idea about these factors, let’s briefly take a look at each.
i. Trees Growing in Rocky Soil
Not all soil conditions allow for effective penetration of tree roots into the soil. This is especially true for tall trees growing in rocky soil.
With shallow development of the root system, strong winds or heavy storms are likely to bring the tree crashing down on the building.
ii. The Negative Effect of Thinning
Thinning has its benefits. However, this isn’t always the case as especially when trees grow in a group.
By thinning such trees, those left might not be able to resist or withstand strong winds. Under such circumstances, the likelihood of these falling on your home becomes greater.
iii. Construction Activities
We earlier mentioned that trees develop by spreading their root systems abroad for purposes of stability, moisture, as well as nutrients.
These root systems can be twice the radius of the tree branches. During construction activities, these branches may get damaged.
The more damage is done to the root system of such a tree, the less stable it gets. Again, heavy winds and storms are likely to bring down the tree.
iv. Wind Throw
Windthrow or damage caused by strong winds is mostly common when such trees are tall and have dense foliage in the upper section.
As strong winds continue to blow, the force exerted on the upper section has a lever impact on the lower section of the tree, thus resulting in its displacement.
Trees affected by this condition will likely fall on your house, causing significant damage. This situation can also prove fatal.
v. Trees Weakening due to Damage
When trees are injured or damaged, two things are likely to happen; these trees might be able to heal up if the damage isn’t much.
On the other hand, more serious damage can lead to diseases and pest infestations. This leads to all kinds of conditions, including weakening and decay.
A weakened tree is unstable and can easily be brought down by heavy winds. If it does, there’s a chance it might come crashing on your home.
Inspect for Potential Tree Falling Risk
To eliminate the chances of trees falling on your home, you’ll need to take precautionary actions.
These are maintenance-related and include observing regular inspections. You’re better off calling for a professional tree inspection service than handling the procedure yourself.
During such inspections, the focus is placed on the general health of the tree as well as its stability.
Actions may include identifying and pruning dead branches, checking for wounds caused by mechanical action or loss of limbs, and keeping an eye out for heavily leaning trees.
Far-off observations are made in addition to close-up inspections. This helps give a true picture of the general well-being of the tree. It also helps with better identification of issues.
If there has been recent construction activity around or close to your trees, you might want to take a closer look.
As stated earlier, construction activities can cause damage to root systems which affects tree stability. With the help of an arborist, a damaged tree can be removed on time to prevent it from falling on your house.
You Might want to Look out for the Following Signs.
There are always signs that reveal a tree’s condition.
Such signs range from damaged bark, heaving or cracked soil, cracks in the trunk, conks, mushrooms, carpenter ants, and other pests at the base of a tree, and premature autumn color.
With professional help, the chance of a tree falling on a house is reduced.
Trees falling on structures are due to a wide range of factors, as discussed above. To limit the chances of such happening, appropriate action is required.
You’ll need expert help to make it count.