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Three Things to Consider when Building Around Trees

Updated: Sep 8, 2019

Did you know there are 600 species of oak trees native to the United States? If you own land in Central Texas, chances are you have a few post oaks or possibly some bur oaks. Most homeowners with these trees residing on their property can attest to their splendor, as well as the painstaking effort of building a deck or fence around them.

But constructing your deck around a large tree can bring a lot of value to your property. For one, it’s environmentally friendly and can help provide relief from the sweltering summer sun. Moreover, building your deck around a tree can make for a number of creative (but challenging) projects, all of which produce a natural and distinguished aesthetic.

Whether you’ve decided to keep a tree and build your deck or fence around it for the sake of being green, or because the project itself is just easier than removing a tree with an intricate system of roots, there are plenty of ways to approach such a project. No matter the reason, you’ll want to ask yourself these three questions when working around larger trees:

1. Where is the tree, and how much space does it need?

It’s always a good idea to make sure the tree in question is not straddling your property line. If your neighbor’s property is the partial host to a large tree, then you should discuss your goals and vision before making further plans. Who knows? Perhaps your neighbor will offer a unique approach to completing your project that you hadn’t previously considered.

You should also consider the amount of space your project will encompass. For instance, building a deck around a tree requires that your project give the tree some room to shift and grow. You’ll want to know just how much space you would be giving up prior to installation.

2. Is my project covered for damages?

Homeowner’s insurance usually covers damages to a deck or fence, though, it doesn’t hurt to double-check your policy­­ — especially when taking into account Central Texas’ impulsive weather conditions. In the event that your property is damaged by a powerful storm or high winds, you’ll want to be certain that including trees in your project’s plans is worth the risk and won’t come at an additional cost to you.

3. What about wood pests and maintenance?

Regardless of whether you are working around a tree or not, you want to think about the level of upkeep involved in your deck or fence, as well what products will best suit your weatherproofing needs. This, however, is more of a significant consideration when working around a larger trees.

Well-shaded areas and humid conditions contribute to the wear of your deck over time, bringing with them the additional concerns of mold, fungus, as well as unwelcome pests, such as termites or wood wasps. In any case, it’s nothing you can’t handle. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort, there are a number of insect-deterring sealants at your disposal.

If you have questions about which sealants on the market are appropriate for your project, or even how much breathing space you should provide for your tree, be sure to ask one of our friendly staff members what they recommend. Featuring a tree in your deck or fencing project should be a worthwhile endeavor that enhances the value of your vision—Sagamore can help.

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