Save my neighbor's tree from my hot water heater!
September 20, 2011 3:41 PM Subscribe
Are we killing our neighbor's tree with our hot water heater? If so, what can we do about it?
posted by anonymous to home & garden (14 answers total)
We had a tankless water heater installed on an outside wall of our home about 5 years ago.
There is a juniper/cedar (?) tree in our neighbor's yard. The trunk is maybe couple dozen feet from that side of our house, and the limbs stretch into our yard, with some touching our gutters. It was not that big when we had the water heater installed.
Over the last year or so the lower limbs facing towards us have been turning brown and dropping leaves (?) quite prolifically. It was only within the last month or so that we noticed the proximity between the tree and the heater's vent: one of us was running hot water and the other was outside and noticed the venting air blowing around the limbs! It seems like the limbs that have grown out towards our gutters are creating a pocket to trap the vented air. It's a lovely tree and we'd hate to see it go, but moving our hot water heater would be complicated at best.
Is our hot water heater to blame for the tree's condition? If so, is it just the heat of the air or something in the vented gases?
Would limbing up the tree help the rest of the tree? Is there anything else, short of moving the heater, that would help? Will the whole tree need to be removed?
Is it something the installer should have noticed? Admittedly, the tree was much smaller then.
How do we gently approach the neighbor about the problem?
We are generally distant but friendly with the neighbors, a couple about our age with a young child. In addition, we'd love to talk about mutual landscaping for the edge between our two properties. There's a wire fence along the property line, most of it is about 2-3 feet tall. They've done some great work putting in plants to give privacy to both sides, but some of the plants seem a bit overcrowded. I'm not sure whether to approach this as a discussion about all the plants or about helping this one tree.
Location: US Pacific NW, throwaway email is firstname.lastname@example.org