Inspection Training

How to Inspect Vegetation Around the Property

While the inspector is on the exterior of the property it is important to check all of the vegetation around the home. If the inspector observes trees that are overhanging the property or overgrown vegetation it should be called out as a defect in the report. Please review the below procedure for the proper way to inspect vegetation.



International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.2. Exterior

I. The inspector shall inspect:

I. Vegetation, surface drainage, retaining walls and grading of the property, where they may adversely affect the structure due to moisture intrusion.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

C. Inspect or identify geological, geotechnical, hydrological or soil conditions.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Evaluating trees are beyond the scope of a general home inspection but the inspector will note any trees that are in contact with the property or vegetation that is overgrown around the property.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspected the vegetation.



  • Inspector will observe all vegetation while walking around the property looking specifically for any vegetation that is in contact with the home. Trees should be at least ten feet away from the house. Check for tree limbs that are in contact with the roof or hanging near the roof that should be trimmed. Bushes and shrubs should also be trimmed back from the property.


Common Defects

  • Vines growing on the siding of the home.
  • Tree limbs in contact with or overhanging on the roof.
  • Vegetation overgrown near the building.
  • Large trees being too close to the structure.



Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all the vegetation around the property.
  • Not identifying the proper vegetation defect.


Report / Software


  • The vegetation around the property appeared to be in satisfactory condition and not adversely affecting the properties condition. Evaluating trees lies beyond the scope of the general property inspection.


  • N/A


  • No vegetation was present around the property that would adversely affect the properties condition.


  • Vines: Vegetation growing on siding should be removed and kept away from eaves, woodwork, doors, chimneys, or other building components. They hold moisture against the wall, hide rot and other problems and are conducive conditions for termites, carpenter ants, etc. The growth does not allow full inspection of the siding and can hide potential defects underneath.
  • Tree Limbs Contact: The tree limbs that are in contact with the roof or hanging near the roof should be trimmed. Evaluating trees lies beyond the scope of the general property inspection.
  • Vegetation Overgrown: The vegetation near the building should be periodically maintained to prevent overgrowth and encroachment onto the structure.
  • Large Trees: Consideration should be given to trimming or even removing large tree(s) located close to the structure. We suggest consultation with a tree specialist. Evaluating trees lies beyond the scope of the general property inspection.
  • Tree Branches Overhanging: Large trees near the house of branches which overhang the property. Falling branches due to conditions such as wood decay, high winds or heavy snow loads may cause injury, death or damage. Significant weakening of large branches by conditions such as core decay may not be visible by persons without special training. Consider having these trees evaluated by a qualified arborist. Evaluating trees lies beyond the scope of the general property inspection.