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5 Favorites: Decks Built Around Trees

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5 Favorites: Decks Built Around Trees

August 8, 2012

You want to build a house. But you have a tree–perhaps a very big tree– growing in the middle of the proposed building site. Remember who got there first.

Often, the graceful solution will be to build a deck around the tree’s trunk. To avoid harming the tree’s root system, don’t sink footings too close to the trunk–consult an arborist to calculate a safe distance based on the type of tree and its size. When framing the deck, build a box around the trunk to protect it from the weight of the joists. And leave enough open space around the tree trunk to accommodate future growth. Here are five decks that work:

Photograph by Jack Thompson courtesy of Robertson Design.
Above: Photograph by Jack Thompson courtesy of Robertson Design.
A three-story screened porch (at L) has a swing on the top level and a table and chairs for dining on the middle level. The sauna is at ground level at the bottom of a slope. Photograph by Reto Guntli, courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.
Above: A three-story screened porch (at L) has a swing on the top level and a table and chairs for dining on the middle level. The sauna is at ground level at the bottom of a slope. Photograph by Reto Guntli, courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects.

For more, see Architect Visit: A Natural Pool and Passive House in New York’s Hudson Valley.

A chalkboard is incorporated into the design of a fence by Shades of Green. Photograph courtesy of Shades of Green. For more, see Fence Fashion: data-src=
Above: A chalkboard is incorporated into the design of a fence by Shades of Green. Photograph courtesy of Shades of Green. For more, see Fence Fashion: 11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal with Horizontal Stripes.
For more, see A View from the Treetops in Philadelphia. Photograph by Jeffrey Stockbridge.
Above: For more, see A View from the Treetops in Philadelphia. Photograph by Jeffrey Stockbridge.
 Above: A single large tree in a Palos Verdes, California cliffside estate with landscapes by Orange Street Studio.

Above: A single large tree in a Palos Verdes, California cliffside estate with landscapes by Orange Street Studio.

For more ideas for decks, see:

Finally, learn how to successfully design a deck for any landscape or exterior home project with our Hardscaping 101: Decks & Patios guide.

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