Picture this: your home is surrounded by beautiful, tall, green trees rustling softly in the breeze while native birds are whistling and chirping from their branches. Trees around your home are excellent for providing shade to cool down your home and creating habitats for local wildlife.
But they also have a dark side. The danger of a foliage-filled space is often overlooked to disastrous consequences. Inevitably, those trees will drop leaves and branches into your gutters, quickly filling them with debris that can lead to major issues. Not to mention the danger of them falling on the home in crazy weather or just from old age.
In this article, we’ve outlined what kinds of issues trees that are too close to your gutters can cause…and how to reduce the risk of damage occurring to your home because of this.
I have a tree close to my home – what damage can it do?
There are quite a few issues that can be caused by trees growing too close to your home.
They may look lovely; however, trees can drop leaves and branches into your gutters, quickly clogging them and causing extensive damage or leaks. Wet, soggy debris and leaf litter can create rust spots in your gutter, causing large holes that are costly to fix.
One of the worst-case scenarios is that during a storm or extreme weather event, the tree could fall onto your home (much like in the pictures below) leading to both tree removal fees AND costly repairs.
There are other significant dangers in having trees around your home, including fire dangers from leaf-filled guttering. Embers can quickly ignite in gutters full of dry leaves, which easily spreads throughout your entire home.
There’s a tree IN my gutter – how do I get rid of it?
Now, this question has two different answers, depending on the circumstances.
- If a tree is in your gutter having fallen onto your home, well, your best bet is to call a tree removal crew and hope that the damage isn’t too costly to repair.
- If a tree is literally growing in your gutter, you’ll need to call in a gutter cleaning specialist (like us) ASAP to get that sucker out. When filled with leaf litter, a guttering system can become the perfect damp environment for a seed to grow, eventually causing you a major headache as the plant grows larger. Roots from these plants can cause extensive damage to guttering and even structural damage to your home. It’s not worth the risk of leaving it there to flourish. You may even be able to replant it elsewhere (far away from your home).
Which trees or plants cause the most problems near homes?
Any tree or plant close to your home can drop leaves and branches into your gutters. In Australia, we have plenty of trees that look incredible in gardens and add a lovely, serene, atmosphere to the home, but they can also cause major issues.
Beautiful to admire, pine trees drop their needles all year round, meaning your gutters will receive a constant supply, no matter the season. It definitely pays to have quality gutter protection installed if you have these around your home.
Native Gum trees
We’re all too familiar with how much leaf litter gum trees can drop, and they are often the worst for blocking your gutters. Not only do they shed their leaves year-round, but they also drop branches, twigs, and bark which can easily cover your roof and fill your gutters. A gutter full of gum tree rubbish isn’t going to do its job well, leading to overflowing gutters, mould and mildew, and in extreme cases, foundational damage to the home. When downpipes block up this can lead to foundation damage.
Not a tree, but ivy can cause serious damage to your guttering. It may add a beautiful accessory to the external walls of your home, but it can quickly take root in your gutters and roof crevices, causing damage and even structural issues. Definitely one to get rid of before it tangles itself and hooks its way across your home.
A gorgeous, deciduous tree, Liquidambars are known for their beautiful leaf colours, which transform from green to a striking red in Autumn. Although they normally shed their leaves during the fall season, meaning less year-round cleanup, these trees continuously shed fruit (known as conkers), which can fall into your gutters well into winter. Sulphur-crested cockatoos will absolutely go to town on these conkers, causing a huge mess on your roof and in your gutters if the trees are located near your home.
Although these trees and plants are all beautiful, it may be worthwhile considering different plants around your home to avoid their constant supply of leaf litter falling into your gutters and the danger of them falling onto your home like this gum tree did.
How can I avoid damage and keep my gutters clean when I have trees close to my gutters?
We’re glad you asked! Regular cleaning ensures you won’t find any nasty surprises when it comes to your guttering. At Grayson’s our specialty gutter cleaning service ensures we efficiently and safely clean your gutters and clear blocked downpipes, as well as remove any tree branches overhanging your home and clear debris from your entire roof.
Grayson’s Gutter Cleaning also offers gutter guards, a protective mesh installed into gutters to reduce the frequency of gutter cleans by preventing leaf litter, branches, and other debris from entering your guttering.
We’d also highly recommend having a professional tree removal service come by and assess the trees near your home to see whether they pose a danger of falling, and removing them if they do. If these photos don’t convince you, we don’t know what will. By taking preventative measures like these, you can improve safety in and around your home and avoid costly repairs.
If you’re interested in our gutter cleaning services, gutter guard, or simply want to hire gutter cleaning experts who will go the extra mile, contact our team here at Grayson’s Gutter Cleaning.