How close is too close for a tree near the pool?


LifeTime Supporter
My yard butts up to my cousins yard. He planted 2 maple trees back in '99 near the property line. At the time a pool wasn't in our future. Well, back in '07 we installed a 15x30 above ground. We've had no problems until this year with the roots appearing under the liner. The tree is 12 feet from our pool:

Getting him to remove the tree seems to be out of the question, however I am trying to convince him by offering to purchase another tree to replace this one else where in his yard. Moving the pool is not an option due to the size of our yard and good 'ol zoning laws.

I do plan to rent a trenching machine and trench the entire length of the pool to cut any roots that have 'crossed the line' so to speak.

Is this tree going to be a future nightmare for me, seeing it is as close as it is? I know leaves will be an issue, but I've already come to terms with that.
I will be having the liner replaced this fall due to some foundation/frame/install issues with the floor plates of the uprights are bowing up out the floor. ( the installer I used is no longer in business, so I'm on my own...) and ants have undermined the cove in several points with the liner resting on the frame/plates. I will be going with a Gorilla pad or Happy Bottom system when I get into this.
Any advice or ideas for dealing with these trees is appreciated.


LifeTime Supporter
I figured trenching at least every other year. I'm going to remove the clay and fill the trench in with sand, then maybe top dress with black dirt and seed. I figure using sand will make the next 'cutting' go a little easier.
I'll be installing a privacy fence / 'windblock' (no permits needed for a windblock, yet) and solar kit next year, so I may continue with the river rock ground cover, and not worry about the black dirt and seed.


TFP Expert
Sep 21, 2009
Greentown, IN
I too think trenching is your best bet, but you may harm the tree so beware of that. Maples are pretty hardy, so you won't likely kill it I wouldn't think, but you don't want to undermine the root structure enough that it weakens it in a storm.... doesn't look terribly large right now, but give it a few more years. Having said all that, I think I would trench as close to the pool structure as possible to allow the tree to maintain it's stability.

Another possibility, although maybe a bit over the top, might be to install some kind of water system for the trees on the far side of them to encourage them to concentrate their root growth there instead of toward your pool.

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
SouthWest Alabama
Since you're going to trench anyway I'd install some root block in the trench. That'll stop them for growing under there again.

The leaves, you learn to deal with. I have huge oak trees all around our pool.

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