Advice on purchasing home with large trees near pool (root intrusion?, pics)

newtopooling

Member
Apr 25, 2019
6
Germantown, TN
Hi! Like the title says, we're a little concerned about maintenance and a lot concerned about the roots intruding.

It is a 38k gallon with a (newer) liner. The 2 tree sit between the pool and the house, maybe 8-10 feet from the pool.

Reading online it seems like this is less than ideal, the pool has existed for a long time but I have no way of knowing if the roots have been an issue.

Looking for opinions and information and to see if it's an issue and if so, is it one that can be remedied. We really like the house and area but have given on other things already...thanks so much for any and all advice/input!

Thanks for the move mod!
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,524
Tallahassee, FL
Here are a couple of questions you can ask to dial in any thing that happened before they put the house on the market.
-How old is that wood deck?
-Why do they have a wood deck there instead of poured concrete or pavers?
-How does the decking around the pool look? Any high areas? big cracks?

That is a very pretty yard and house from those two pics. I do worry about mildew as such by the wood deck and house. It looks like it might stay damp. Add in all of the *stuff* that will fall from the trees and critters in the tree you will have some work to keep it clean.

I hope this gives you some things to think about.............as if you did not already have enough...............but better to think about it NOW!

Kim:kmi:
 

duraleigh

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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,859
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum:wave:

The trees are going to present some cleaning and maintenance issues.....no doubt.

They may also do some damage to the pool structure but it is a vinyl lined pool so there is some flex inherent in that type build.

The alternative is to remove them. That would be your decision to make. I can think of no "compromise" that would be really viable
 

newtopooling

Member
Apr 25, 2019
6
Germantown, TN
Here are a couple of questions you can ask to dial in any thing that happened before they put the house on the market.
-How old is that wood deck?
-Why do they have a wood deck there instead of poured concrete or pavers?
-How does the decking around the pool look? Any high areas? big cracks?

That is a very pretty yard and house from those two pics. I do worry about mildew as such by the wood deck and house. It looks like it might stay damp. Add in all of the *stuff* that will fall from the trees and critters in the tree you will have some work to keep it clean.

I hope this gives you some things to think about.............as if you did not already have enough...............but better to think about it NOW!
Kim:kmi:
The trees are going to present some cleaning and maintenance issues.....no doubt.

They may also do some damage to the pool structure but it is a vinyl lined pool so there is some flex inherent in that type build.

The alternative is to remove them. That would be your decision to make. I can think of no "compromise" that would be really viable
Thanks so so much! We have had a pool inspection and it came back clean but I know that they can miss things.

Some answers:

0) Pool and sunroom appear to be built in 1984/86 based on building permits.
1) That decking is not new from what I can tell. There used to be a hottub on the concrete pad you see in pic 2
2) I do not know why it's decking instead, I had assumed b/c it provides a level walk from inside to the pool.
3) No upheaval or cracks that I have noticed

By reading this forum we realize a pool is not a set and forget affair, we weren't aiming for a house with a pool but our kids love, love to swim (will spend 4 hours in a pool if we let them). It's also in the right location and a lot of other rights in a tight buyer's market.

My main concern is long term health of the area and roots intruding on the liner, I know it can happen but can't find many threads on remediation should it happen.

Maintenance aside (which will be higher), if the pool and the trees start fighting, is there a remediation besides one of them has to go? And if the trees go, is there a way to do it so they don't leave a giant hole/mess with the pools structure?

Thanks so much, y'all have seen pretty much everything I'd guess, trying to get a variety of opinions. Our thoughts are that these things have co-existed for 30 years at this point through multiple owners, a bit of confirmation bias though...
 

look30

Bronze Supporter
Mar 22, 2018
24
San Jose/CA
really hard to tell the future , I just did some work in my backyard and there where some big roots in unexpected places . I have a similar situation with a Redwood and I was thinking to get some help and dig a trench on the side facing the pool and cut the roots going towards the pool.Should be like a $300 job for 2 people.
You are right pool is anything but set and forget but with help from this forum I managed to maintain it last year by myself.
 

newtopooling

Member
Apr 25, 2019
6
Germantown, TN
Thanks everyone! The pool inspector found a few things which look like they'll fix.

I did not realize that a liner pool is built with a frame around it, that tells me there's at least some root barrier and in the future could be re-enforced should the trees intrude too much.

I'm thinking I'll have the trees deadlimbed and trimmed soon to cut down on foliage drop and keep them healthy but it doesn't appear to be a deal breaker at the moment.

I look forward to being a TFP pro soon!
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
Those look to be mature trees. Depending on the species they may not get much bigger. I wouldn't remove the wood deck and replace it with concrete. A tree that size needs a lot of water. The deck lets the water through, concrete won't do the same. Big trees are also susceptible to root damage so trenching around them is a bad idea. Hand digging and landscaping is not a problem. Cutting primary roots with a big trencher can kill a mature tree.

If it was mine, I'd have an arborist trim them and check on their condition. After that I'd leave them alone. I have several big (hundred plus year old) trees so I'm picky about who gets to trim them.
 

newtopooling

Member
Apr 25, 2019
6
Germantown, TN
Those look to be mature trees. Depending on the species they may not get much bigger. I wouldn't remove the wood deck and replace it with concrete. A tree that size needs a lot of water. The deck lets the water through, concrete won't do the same. Big trees are also susceptible to root damage so trenching around them is a bad idea. Hand digging and landscaping is not a problem. Cutting primary roots with a big trencher can kill a mature tree.

If it was mine, I'd have an arborist trim them and check on their condition. After that I'd leave them alone. I have several big (hundred plus year old) trees so I'm picky about who gets to trim them.

Yep and just found out the owner had the canopy professionally raised and some (healthy) pruning done last year with receipts. It gets murderously hot here so the extra shade in the summer will be welcome so we aren't swimming in a hot pool.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
483
Columbus, Ohio
I'm familiar with your kind of heat. My father lives in Cookeville and wonders why I won't visit in the summer. :) We figure the biggest oak we have is over two hundred years old. We had a big ice storm this winter so the trimming bill was steep. You just can't replace a tree that size.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
582
MA
I would assume the wood deck was built just for the reason Dorsal explained above. For the minimum impact on the root system. That along with the fact the previous owner spent significant money to prune and maintain the trees is a very convincing argument that they have been committed to maintaining the trees. So even though they will require you to invest the same time and money to keep them healthy coupled with the fact that they will definitely add maintenance labor and cost to not only the pool but the house and deck as well I would still vote to keep them. You can never replace the amount of shade they bring as well as being a huge part of the aesthetic appeal of the back yard. Without them I assume your swim season would be greatly shortened as well as you ability to sit and enjoy your pool. It might be wise to get a independent arborist to asses the trees and perhaps give you a idea on there life span before you purchase the house. It would be a very costly ordeal if one or both had a disease or that particular tree usually only lives X years. Other than that I would roll the dice and enjoy the cool breeze...
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
149
Memphis
If anyone is curious, the first picture I attached is of small tree roots growing under our vinyl liner when we had it replaced last summer. None of them are more than a half inch thick and the weight of the water just caused them to grown along the liner instead of poking through. The pool liner guy just pulled them up and they appeared to be from a tree we had removed a year prior.

I'm in Memphis with a lot of huge trees all around my pool and the only problem is all the stuff falling from the trees. If you do purchase this house and those are oak trees, make sure you use metal sequestrants frequently with the C-ulator bags all summer and keep out as many leaves as possible. The previous owners of my house left me with a lovely copper stain issue (2nd picture) caused by a mountain of leaves in the deep end before closing which I couldn't ever get rid of until I actually replaced my liner. Also, don't take off the winter cover until all the brown frills have fallen off the trees after bloom. Don't be afraid though, you will just have more cleanup maintenance.
 

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newtopooling

Member
Apr 25, 2019
6
Germantown, TN
If anyone is curious, the first picture I attached is of small tree roots growing under our vinyl liner when we had it replaced last summer. None of them are more than a half inch thick and the weight of the water just caused them to grown along the liner instead of poking through. The pool liner guy just pulled them up and they appeared to be from a tree we had removed a year prior.

I'm in Memphis with a lot of huge trees all around my pool and the only problem is all the stuff falling from the trees. If you do purchase this house and those are oak trees, make sure you use metal sequestrants frequently with the C-ulator bags all summer and keep out as many leaves as possible. The previous owners of my house left me with a lovely copper stain issue (2nd picture) caused by a mountain of leaves in the deep end before closing which I couldn't ever get rid of until I actually replaced my liner. Also, don't take off the winter cover until all the brown frills have fallen off the trees after bloom. Don't be afraid though, you will just have more cleanup maintenance.

Thanks so much for the pics! That makes a ton of sense, before using this forum I didn't realize there were sidewalls (which there are) and the weight of the water at the bottom must be intense. The property is actually in Memphis, we're headed that way. I lived there before and remember how many pools there are, probably because of the sweltering end of July/August timeframe.

We're very excited now and this thread and forum are awesome, I know I now have a new commitment but (at least for now) it is a welcome one. Nothing beats some good shade by a nice pool in the summer.