Are you thinking about installing an in-ground swimming pool in a yard full of trees? If so, there are some scenarios you need to prepare for. Whether you decide to keep the trees or get rid of some of them, you need to be aware of how trees impact in-ground swimming pool construction. Here is a closer look at what might be in store for you.
The Proximity of Swimming Pools to Trees
How close can my pool be to my trees? This is one of the most common questions we get from homeowners who have trees in their backyards. As a good rule of thumb, most root structures extend about as far outward as the branches of the trees do. If you have an idea of where the "drip line" for your tree is (the line where water drips off the leaves after it rains), you can make sure your swimming pool is not constructed within that region. With that in mind, not all trees follow this rule, so it is best to consider installation at least 15 feet out from the base of the tree, to be safe.
How Tree Roots Influence Swimming Pools (in the Long Term)
With regards to root growth, concrete pools and fiberglass pools will not be affected if your tree roots grow substantially in the future. The roots will grow around the pool structure and conform to it. They will not be strong enough to shift the pool or poke through it. With that in mind, pools with vinyl siding could be at risk of damage from root growth. If you are planning to get a vinyl pool, you will want to be very careful about where you position it.
You also need to keep in mind the impact that the roots may have on your pool patio. It takes about 10 years for roots to grow enough to break up a hardscape on the surface, but this could happen over time. Install the patio at least 6 feet from the trunk of the tree, and consider using concrete pavers instead of a concrete slab for the patio. That way if you need to trim roots that come up, you can simply remove some of the pavers, trim down the roots, and replace the pavers again.
Deciding Which Trees to Keep on the Property
Which trees stay and which trees go? That’s partly up to you. The fewer trees you have, the less you have to worry about during your in-ground pool construction. Nevertheless, many homeowners want to preserve the trees they have in their yard. If you have to get rid of a few trees to make room for the pool, think about the type of debris that each tree produces throughout the year. The ones that produce the most debris or who produce it most frequently will be the ones that cause the most trouble with your pool. Those should be the ones you consider removing.
Protecting Trees during In-Ground Pool Construction
In order to protect your trees during construction, set up a temporary plastic fence around the drip line for the tree branches. This will ensure that the roots do not get hit with equipment accidentally. You can remove the fencing once the pool construction is complete, and your yard should look the way it did before. The fence will also protect against ground compacting, where the soil is compressed under the weight of construction equipment. If part of the soil is compacted, you can aerate the soil to bring it back to life.
Follow the tips above when working with trees during your in-ground pool construction, and you can prevent problems from developing later on.