I live in Houston and I have a beautiful 25 yr+ live oak tree in my back yard but it is beginning to give my (16000 gallon) pool problems. I love both the pool and the tree but one has to go. Which would give my home more value when I sell my house.
Every area is different and it would be better to as a Houston appraiser. However, in the DFW area a pool adds to the value of a home and single tree would not necessarily add any value to a home. If the pool is functional and in good working order it has market value. A tree usually adds to market appeal, but not necessarily market value.
Local real estate agents may have the most reliable opinions on the tree-pool question. It would be even better to talk to "typical" buyers in your specific area.
Your oak tree may be one of the nicest features of your property. If you were a friend asking my advice, I would say - if the best choice isn't immediately obvious, make the property the way you like it.
A pool is a more tangible item, and the oak tree has mostly emotional appeal. So, cutting down the tree is probably the more conventional choice. My guess is that you wouldn't be asking the question here if you weren't really in love with that tree. Can't you somehow save them both? Summer is just around the corner!
You should cut down the tree and use the wood (if its salvagable) and make something out of it ( maybe one of those cool swinging benches?) Then you technically would still have both.
Although to your real question the pool is worth more than the trees. I live in south florida and I have about 10 palm trees (of various species) on my property as well as four royal poincienna (sp?) trees. They are beautiful but the previous owner LOVED them and I'm thinking about taking some of them down. In retrospect I wish he had put in a pool. I'm sure 90% of prospective buyers will feel the same way.
You didn't say how close the tree was to the pool. If it's right next to it, I would cut it and plant other trees farther away. Trees grow like weeds down there (used to live in Pasadena). If, however, it is a fair distance and the roots are growing up against the pool, I would have a tree expert come out and trench between the tree and the pool. Then put in a root barrier (fiberglass sheets, etc). That way, the tree can still grow but the tree will be protected. The surface roots generally extend only 3-4 feet below the surface so you don't have to go very deep.