It is always a good idea to hire a Certified Arborist to look at the trees on a property before you buy, that is, during the "due diligence" period. If there are trees with problems, the inspection could make the difference between stopping or going through with a purchase. Or it could mean that you, rather than the seller, will pay for removal of an unsafe tree after you move in. Tree removal will be a  -- a hefty bite in your "house poor" budget.

Here are some things the arborist will be looking for:

  • Are any of the trees dead, diseased, or dying?
  • Are there areas in the tree or major branches that are hazardous?
  • Are the trees too close to the house?
  • If construction is planned after the sale goes through, how might it impact the trees?
  • Are a tree's roots disturbing the foundation or driveway?


From the ground, this huge tulip tree near the home looked completely healthy. But when the homeowner casually mentioned he had seen a raccoon in the tree, our arborist knew he had to climb up to find out why. Look at the cavity he found! Massive decay going deep into the trunk is a great place for a raccoon to raise its young, but it makes the tree very dangerous!

A removal like this will cost thousands of dollars, likely changing the terms of a home purchase. Get the trees inspected before you sign a contract. Otherwise, you might be stuck with a very expensive tree job.