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  • Writer's pictureFrank Leigh

Helical Screw Piles: A Tree-Friendly Foundation Solution

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

When it comes to construction projects near mature trees, preserving the health and integrity of these natural giants is of paramount importance.


Traditional foundation methods like concrete footings can have a detrimental impact on tree roots, often leading to long-term damage or even the demise of the tree.


However, there is a more tree-friendly alternative: helical screw piles, also known as screw anchors. In this blog post, we'll explore how helical screw piles are a sustainable and effective way to install foundations while safeguarding tree roots.


Tree Root Foundations
Tree Root Foundations

Understanding the Challenge


Trees play a vital role in our environment by providing oxygen, shade, and beauty. Their roots, which anchor them to the ground and absorb nutrients and water, are essential for their survival.


When construction or renovation projects necessitate the installation of foundations near trees, the roots become vulnerable to damage.


Traditional foundation methods, such as pouring concrete footings, often require excavation, which can harm or sever tree roots. When roots are compromised, trees may struggle to access essential nutrients, leading to stress, disease, or even death.


Additionally, the loss of tree roots can make the tree unstable, posing a safety risk to nearby structures and individuals.


Helical Screw Piles: A Tree-Friendly Solution


Helical screw piles offer a solution that addresses these challenges and promotes the coexistence of trees and construction. Here's why they are a great choice for installing foundations near trees:

  • Minimal Root Disturbance:

One of the most significant advantages of helical screw piles is their minimal impact on tree roots.


These piles are installed by screwing them into the ground, eliminating the need for extensive excavation.


As a result, tree roots remain largely undisturbed, reducing the risk of damage and preserving the tree's health.

  • Load Distribution:

Helical screw piles distribute the load evenly across their helical blades.


This even distribution helps to prevent soil compaction and minimise the pressure on surrounding tree roots.


As a result, the tree's root system is less likely to suffer from the compaction-induced problems often associated with traditional foundations.

  • Adjustability:

Helical screw piles are versatile and adjustable. This means they can be installed to the exact depth required for the construction project, avoiding unnecessary disturbance to tree roots.


Additionally, their adjustability allows for easy leveling and alignment of the foundation, ensuring stability without harming nearby trees.

  • Quick Installation:

The installation process for helical screw piles is efficient and less time-consuming compared to traditional foundation methods.


This means less disruption to the tree and its surroundings, reducing stress and potential harm to the tree during construction.

  • Eco-Friendly:

Helical screw piles are made from materials that can be reused and recycled. Their eco-friendly design aligns with the principles of sustainability and responsible construction.


By choosing this foundation option, you can contribute to environmentally conscious building practices.


Case Study: The Benefits of Helical Screw Piles


Let's look at a real-world example to illustrate the advantages of using helical screw piles when building near trees.


Imagine a homeowner who wants to construct a new extension to their house, and there is a mature oak tree in the backyard.


By opting for helical screw piles as the foundation solution, the following benefits can be observed:

  1. The oak tree's root system remains intact, ensuring the tree's health and longevity.

  2. Construction is completed efficiently, with minimal disruption to the homeowner's daily life and the tree's ecosystem.

  3. The homeowner enjoys the beauty and shade of the oak tree for years to come, enhancing their property's overall value.

Incorporating helical screw piles into your construction project near mature trees is a win-win solution.


It not only protects the tree roots and promotes tree health but also provides a stable and environmentally responsible foundation for your structure.


By choosing this tree-friendly foundation method, you can preserve the natural beauty and benefits of trees while successfully completing your construction project.


Helical screw piles demonstrate that progress and conservation can coexist harmoniously in the construction industry.




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