I have a pine tree within a few feet of my house. It is now taller than my house. I like the shade it provides, but want to know if the roots are harming the foundation of my house and if I should cut the tree down.

Large trees seldom cause issues with properly-built building foundations. When roots do "damage" foundations, it usually results from cracks forming in the foundation due to settling and roots then "exploring" the cracks. Roots don't initiate the cracks.

The bigger issue with tall trees immediately adjacent to structures is one of lightning damage. Most lightning damage to homes occurs when tall trees are struck and the electrical charge arcs or "sideflashes" to something more conductive on the house, such as metal gutters. This is relatively common on trees that are taller than the structure and within ten feet of the foundation. So if the tree is very tall and is a species prone to lightning damage, consider speaking with an arborist regarding a lightning protection system for the tree.




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