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Trees and Shrub Home Inspection Defects - Quality Home Inspections of East Tennessee

Trees and shrubs are one of the items that I look at during an inspection. Large trees that appear very close to the home can pose a threat to the home through falling of itself, or its branches. Branches that touch the home can cause moisture damage to a home over time. They can also provide a pathway for pests to enter into a home.

Shrubs can also cause moisture damage and provide pathways for pests. Shrubs and vines that are too close to a home can also grow right into your wall causing damage that way. A person should be able to walk in between any shrubs and the home without hitting the plants.

Tree limbs that hover too close to a roof can cause shingles to age prematurely due to holding moisture on top of the shingles. This condition could result in a leaky roof.


Trees that appear to be not healthy or decaying are especially dangerous to homes due to falling branches. Generally, trees that are too close also can damage your home by continuously cluttering up gutters. Gutters that overflow with rain water cause water to enter into crawlspaces or basements and can cause problems under the home. Everything in a home is connected. One problem usually leads to another and another.

Tips for checking trees in your yard

One of the biggest fears most of us have concerning trees is that they might fall over onto our home during a major thunderstorm. Examine trees in your yard carefully. Look for peeling bark. Get some binoculars or use a camera with a zoom lens to take pictures of the top or crown of your trees. Look for dead wood or brown leaves at the top or any indication that the tree is not in the best of health. It's common for trees to have some lean in them, but if the lean is extreme and it's anywhere near your home, you may want to call a professional tree cutter that is insured to cut it down. If the tree is far enough away from your home you may want to call an arborist (tree surgeon)  to see if saving the tree is an option.

You also want to look for exposed roots, cracked or heaving soil, especially on the opposite side of a lean, trees with multiple trunks, or deep cracks in the trunk. Keep in mind that construction near a tree can cause problems for a tree that might show up years later. If your tree begins to turn colors prematurely in the fall or has smaller foliage than usual, this could be sign of trouble. If you see carpenter ants near the base of the tree, this could mean the tree is rotting. Also mushrooms at the bottom of a tree, on the tree, or on roots can be a bad sign that the tree is in trouble.

Most home inspectors will make trees and shrubs part of a home inspection in regards to the vicinity of the trees in relation to the house, or if it's obvious that a tree is endangering a home.

When in doubt about the health of your trees it's a good idea to call in a tree expert such as an tree surgeon.

East Tennessee Quality Home Inspections
Quality Home Inspections serves the East Tennessee area of Roane, Loudon, Knox, Anderson, and Cumberland counties which includes the cities of Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Kingston, Harriman, Rockwood, Oliver Springs, Midtown, Lenoir City, and Crossville, Tennessee. The goal of Quality Home Inspections is to help make the home buying decision a little less complex by providing a professional visual inspection and report of various systems and areas of the home.

If you have questions regarding our home inspection services in East Tennessee feel free to call me at any time during the day at  

or email me at