We have a fir tree planted at the front corner of our house. We recently had foundation problems due to that side of the house sinking. We live in north Texas. The company that fixed our foundation advised that the tree was using all the water and therefore, causing our foundation problems and advised us to remove it. It is about 20ft tall and now we are wondering if we should undertake the task of removing it. An ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
If the tree is within a few feet of the foundation it should be removed. Please consider hiring an arborist to remove it, particularly, as Ambo100 points out, if it could fall on your car, the sidewalk or another house. Some cities have ordinances prohibiting the removal of trees above a certain size. Best to check before cutting.
Fir trees are not known to have aggressive water seeking roots but many factors play into how far a tree's roots will look for water:
- soil profile
- availability of water
The Morton Arboretum states
Roots are often blamed for damage to foundations. In reality, roots are rarely the cause of the problem. Though small roots may penetrate existing cracks in foundations, they are incapable of causing mechanical damage through their growth. Soil subsidence can result in damage to structures. Under very special circumstances roots can contribute to this problem. When soils are prone to shrinking substantially during periods of drought, and if foundations are shallow, roots can contribute to depletion of soil moisture under the foundation, causing it to subside.
I can't determine without a local inspection whether your tree is the source of the problems but it is too close. Most trees should be at least ten feet from your house and twenty is better. A rule of thumb is that a tree should be a distance away from your house equal to its mature height.