Kill it or Leave It?

The home we’ve recently moved into has this tree growing in the backyard. Short of decapitating dandelions I’m not much of a gardener but I’m a bit concerned about how close the tree is to the house. It is starting to lean a bit… pushing itself away from the house (not really obvious in the photo).

I would appreciate any suggestions in regards to what we should be doing here. Is the tree okay this close to the house? Should it be cut down? Or maybe just thinned out a bit.

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  • Bev

    Its a  Ceder tree Brent,It is to close  your house… It will wreck the paint on your house,,,,Barry says you could try trimming it,but if it was him he would just cut it down…

  • The Girls

    trim it 

  • Gordondholden

    I had a very similar situation Brent, and had spiders roosting in it to boot. I ended up trimming away the back half, leaving room between the tree and the house, and shaping what was left into a beautiful woman in a bikini…well, just kidding about the bikini part…lol. Anyway, it looks great! : )

  • S. Beshev

    I would removed it. If is not causing problems now it sure will in the future.

  • Gordondholden

    Please don’t give out my email to anyone. Thanks.

  • Teri Gidwitz

    Remove it, or if your tree expert tells you it can survive, move it. It’s got to be doing a number on your foundation too.

  • sahaguru

    Kill the curiosity which improves your skill. Leave an expression of achieving .

  • Mark

    That is definitely too close. It is always advisable to trim any branches that contact the house or gutters because when the wind blows physical damage can occur to the structure of the house. Besides this one does not look very attractive to me. Cut it down. First cut about half way down, then maybe a lower cut, and make the final cut at or even a little below the ground. Then you can plant something that you want there. Buy from a reputable nursery in your area and ask questions about what would go good in the spot you want to plant in. Get any other questions you have answered also. Also remember that if the tree is near power lines it might be advisable to get professional help and in some areas it is a legal requirement. Don’t risk electrocution to save a little money!

  • waynemansfield

    Chop down for me mate

  • Mike R.

    Definitely I’d be cutting this one down, carefully…

  • Julie Shatswell

    Take it down. That could be a huge problem in the future esp with the root system. 

  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Bev!

  • Brent Knowles

    Hah! I’m thinking of trimming it first and then evaluating afterwards. 

  • Brent Knowles


  • Brent Knowles

    No worries. 

  • Brent Knowles

    Wow, thanks for the detailed advice!

  • Brent Knowles

    Definitely will do a trim right away and then evaluate whether to chop the entire thing down.

  • Baja By Bus

    Get rid!

  • Tru2psu

    First, the shrub looks like a Yew – very deep roots.   May be very difficult to remove and replant.

  • Ajarn Donald

    Leave it, Love it, Let it live and it will help out nature and the environment.  :)

  • Suzanne St Amand

    Wait until Christmas and use it as your Christmas tree.

  • Randy L Dyck

    This tree looks a lot like our junipers. We have 2 at each corner of the front of our house, 25 feet tall and  about 2 feet from the foundation. See a couple of pics of our yard on Google+
    These things aren’t getting any taller, and they do well in the dry soil next to the house. Others say the same, see links at bottom. They aren’t like spruce or fir that have huge taproots to put pressure on your foundation.

    Your picture makes it look more like an Eastern Redcedar or a Mountian Redcedar, which are actually Junipers.

    If it is really leaning away from the house, you might want to prune the branches against the house side a bit. Or, just cut the thing down.

    Hope that all helps you make up your mind.

  • Catherine White

    Now that’s a nice Christmas tree :D

  • Colin_turnbull

    Chop, chop

  • Richard Bradford

    Cut it down.

  • Brent Knowles

    Yes, my wife doesn’t want it cut down because she wants to decorate it for Christmas.

  • Brent Knowles

    Yes, that’s what my wife wants to do :)

  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Randy for the details and photos.

  • Shawn

    We had a couple smaller versions of your tree/bush when I was kid and they seemed to attract alot of bees and hornets, so we ended up getting rid of them. 
    But Root wise I am not sure how strong they are.

  • Pam Rumer

    Since your wife likes the tree, you should try moving it. as that would make her happy (and that is important). I’d read about transplanting evergreens first, or consult an expect. I agree it is too close to the house and depending upon the root system, it could get into pipes, cause cracks in the foundation, etc.

  • Dianne

    That tree is nice for beautification and for maintaining fresh air. You can just trim but not cut all…

  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Shawn. The yard does seem a bit more bee/hornet heavy than our last.

  • Brent Knowles

    We might do this though the yard isn’t terribly large (i.e., might not be another location for it).

  • Syarif S. Arman

    Agree…just trim it…it can be your outdoor christmas tree later…Love tree! @BangGowes:twitter 

  • April Elyse Martin

    I say leave it!! 

  • Craig Meyer

    Kill it. Its ugly anyway

  • Greg Bepper

    Yep, Randy is right … it’s a Juniper (Type of conifer) .. They don’t ‘trim all that well. No TREE, which it is… should be that close to a house. Roots will find their way into the drainage system looking for water. Remove it and replace with a shrub

  • Aytakin

    Leave it

  • Andreas Wiedow

    1) This size the tree MUST have roots deep down that keep growing and will finally ruin (the wall of) the house.2) The tree has been planted too close to the house in the first place.

    So remove it. Question is, how ?


    1) Removing including roots – be careful because of the house.
    2) Dunno if it would keep growing if roots were left underground.
    3) Make something useful out of it: Cut it down to a size that you can use it as a table for BBQ or kids to play. Depends on the diameter of the root.

  • mcwright

    I’d get rid of it…it’s too close, it will eventually hurt foundation and drainage…plant a hydrangea a bit farther from the wall…

  • Milieunet

    It’s close to the hous, but just leave it.

  • Skyhi

    I agree with mcwright it will eventuallt damage the foundation. PS remember when cutting down to cut the trunk under grounf level other wise you will be mowing around it until it rots away.

  • Diny

    I would prefer the small one in the container. His big brother is too close to the house and will damage in in the long turn. 

  • Robbie

    I think as well that  it’s too near to house foundation, maybe you can just think about moving it 2 meters away…

  • Christer Olsson

    I’d try to trim and thin it, and if does not respond well – remove it.

  • geoffrey

    Check the roots could trim it …also make sure it does not wilt.. worse case is… you transfer it

  • Brent Knowles


  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Greg.

  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Andreas. Definitely will do something useful with the remains.

  • Brent Knowles

    Thanks Skyhi