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Tree Through the Roof


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The picture doesn’t tell the whole story. This was a garage with a carport attached. The tree was in the carport area. This was a wooded area out in the SW suburbs with lots of oaks. I’m not used to working in rural-ish areas and I’ve never seen a tree sticking through a roof, at least not on purpose. It had private well and septic; something else I never see on the job.

My landscapes are usually of the variety I had this past Monday:

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My thoughts on the tree are that if the building was built recently there probably wasn't enough undisturbed soil left around the roots to allow for proper water and air to the roots. I've seen them take as long as 5 years to die after having new soil piled up around the trunk. Taking that down after it dies wouldn't be cheap.

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Originally posted by AHI in AR

My thoughts on the tree are that if the building was built recently there probably wasn't enough undisturbed soil left around the roots to allow for proper water and air to the roots. I've seen them take as long as 5 years to die after having new soil piled up around the trunk. Taking that down after it dies wouldn't be cheap.

Good point.

Building around this tree does not even closely meet the root zone management I have researched for the white oak. I was told there is a poured driveway under the snow and the garage itself is a slab floor. According to what I have read, this is not the best thing to have crowding the tree. However, the garage is about 30 years old. If the root zone were damaged, I’d think the tree would look sick. It didn’t. My only comments were that the tree would keep growing (though very slowly) and would eventually affect the roof framing.

I really like how it looks. Very unique.

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My experience as a builder tells me that the more desirable the tree is, the easier it is to kill it. (Seems that way, at least.) In general, red oaks are tougher than white oaks. You can't kill an ugly blackjack oak if you try. Seriously -- try it sometime. Hickory trees are pretty tough also.

But if that building has been there 30 years without any change in conditions, it would appear that the tree has grown and adapted. If not, all bets are off.

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It looks like it's already dead. That's why it didn't drop it's leaves. The ones that die before the fall season usually hold their leaves.

Aside from that and assuming it was alive, imagine a nice wind blowing. Especially in the summer when leaves are on and it's lofty. That sucker is gonna move in a strong wind. Not a great deal, but probably enough to leverage against the structure.

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Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

It looks like it's already dead. That's why it didn't drop it's leaves. The ones that die before the fall season usually hold their leaves.

Aside from that and assuming it was alive, imagine a nice wind blowing. Especially in the summer when leaves are on and it's lofty. That sucker is gonna move in a strong wind. Not a great deal, but probably enough to leverage against the structure.

John, it’s not unusual for an oak to keep on dead leaves through the winter. It does not mean it is dead or even sick. As far as moving around on windy days, oaks have a much deserved rep for not moving for nothing. A tornado would rip it out of the ground before the trunk would consider bending in a storm.

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The trunk in the photo is probably about 2’ in diameter at the roof line and I doubt there is any discernible movement in that area on the windiest of days. Maybe Maryland white oaks are wimpy.

As far as leaves of the white oak sticking through winter, check out White Oak (Q. alba) from Clemson Univ. Home & Garden Information Center:

http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/hgic1017.htm

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I think I can settle this one; years ago I was stationed on Ft. Devens, MA and lived on base in one of the enlisted housing complexes. We were surrounded by a thick forest of oak trees and they do hold onto a lot of their dead leaves during most of the winter. I'll bet the differences in the experience that John his having and Maryland and Mike is having in Illinois have a lot to do with the climate and that the same species acts differently depending on the local climate.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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