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Swimming Pool Construction and Trees

Making the decision to install an inground swimming pool in your back yard is an exciting one. Visions of pool parties and relaxing days lounging poolside dance in your head. But the actual swimming pool construction takes a lot of planning, and backyard trees can complicate the decision of where to locate your new pool.

We run across a number of common questions as they relate to swimming pool construction and trees, and we’ll attempt to provide you with some answers here. Any good swimming pool contractor who visits your property for an estimate should discuss the location of your pool and how that might affect your existing trees.

Can Swimming Pool Construction Damage Tree Roots?

Inground swimming pool construction requires some heavy equipment, and extensive excavation. Excavation can easily damage tree roots. That’s why it is generally advised not to locate an inground pool within 15 feet of a tree. Arborists typically recommend a tree protection zone with a radius of one foot for every inch of trunk diameter. Of course, the size, age and type of tree will impact how far out fro the tree the roots actually go

Should I Remove Trees Before Swimming Pool Construction?

Removing trees before swimming pool construction is easier and less expensive than removing them after your pool is finished. So if you want to save time and money, remove any trees before pool construction begins. Keep in mind what may be a small tree now, will grow and could become a problem in the future. Any tree that is in the footprint of your pool will need to be removed. Trees that drop fruit, nuts or leaves should not be left in place if they are near your pool area.

Can I Leave the Tree Stumps?

If you cut down a tree that is in the footprint f your pool or in the close surrounding area, you need to remove the stump. If you don’t, the stump will eventually rot and decompose, creating instability in the soil under or around your pool. This in turn can create problems for your pool, including shifting or cracking.

Can Tree Roots Damage My Inground Pool?

Yes. Tree roots are tough and opportunistic, and will seek out a water source. Ideally, your inground pool is located at least 15 feet away from the base of any tree. So, as you can see, removing some trees can preserve your investment in your inground pool.

But I Like My Trees!

No one is saying you can’t have trees and a pool at the same time. They just can’t be too close to each other. Work with your pool builder to reach a compromise on saving some trees. And remember, your pool fencing will give your pool some privacy, and you can put in new pool area landscaping that is compatible with your pool.


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