Understanding the Subsidence Caused by Trees in Austin, TX

Monster Tree Service Image

Trees provide us with shade, privacy, fruits, and beauty, among other benefits. Sadly, they also have some downsides. Trees can sometimes lead to geotechnical issues like subsidence, which can cause damage to your home or commercial property. 

In this blog post, Monster Tree Service, the city of Austin's expert tree removal service provider, takes a deeper look into subsidence caused by trees, including how you can tackle the problem. 

What Does Subsidence Mean?

Subsidence refers to unbalanced foundations as a result of natural events. It happens when the ground shifts beneath your building, moving it from its original position. The resulting damage can adversely impact your property’s structural integrity and longevity. 

How can you identify subsidence?

Look out for cracks along your building’s foundation. If you see cracks about three millimeters thick, which look wider at the top and narrow toward the bottom, chances are you’re dealing with subsidence. 

You can find these cracks both at the exterior and interior of your property, and they commonly occur around windows and doors. Here are other tell-tale signs of trouble:

  • Warped door and window frames, making them difficult to open or close

  • Creased wallpaper right below the ceiling

  • Cracks between an extension and your home

How Do Trees Cause Subsidence?

Now that you know what subsidence is all about, let’s talk about subsidence caused by trees. 

While trees growing near buildings, especially in the urban environment, usually don’t cause damage, many studies have linked subsidence and structural damage to root activity. This often happens with trees growing on clay soils. 

When your tree’s roots grow into clay soil and draw significant amounts of moisture, it could lead to drought and soil shrinkage. Consequently, your building’s foundation on the clay will move, developing subsidence symptoms. 

If you have a modern building, you shouldn’t worry so much about tree-related subsidence. However, houses constructed before the 1950s are at a higher risk, thanks to their shallow foundations!

Common Trees That Cause Subsidence

If you have large trees with extensive root systems on your property, you’re more likely to experience subsidence than if you have smaller trees. Some of the tree species notorious for causing subsidence include:

  • Willow trees

  • Oak trees

  • Poplar trees

  • Ash trees

This doesn’t mean that you’re safe with other tree varieties. Any tree can potentially cause subsidence if it has an adequately massive root system. 

What Are the Solutions for Property Subsidence Caused by Trees?

You can resolve tree-related subsidence through screw piles, resin ground injection, or underpinning. The condition of your soul will largely influence the method to use. For example, screw piles usually work best in clay conditions. 

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

If you need help with land settlement or subsidence caused by trees, Monster Tree Service of Greater Austin is the go-to local arborist. We provide a wider range of services, including:

  • Tree removal 

  • Tree pruning 

  • Commercial trees services

Contact us today at (512) 641-5638 for a free estimate or to learn about handling tree root damage in Austin, TX.