Tree near House - Identify and Advice????

We have a house in west central Florida on a wooded lot with scrub oaks and southern pines and some other odd trees. A few years ago a couple feet in front of one corner of the house a small stem of a plant sprung up. This "tree" had a light color stalk or trunk and leaves that looked a little like fern leaves. It looked neat so we let it grow but over the next couple years the trunk grew to about a foot across and the branches now umbrella over half the house. We like it because it shades the roof from the hot Florida sun and it is a beautiful tree.
The issue we have is that one large root that looks like a large elephant's trunk on the ground, grows along the front of the house and sinks down near the foundation. We had someone look at the tree and called it an "air tree" and said there was no worry as it's very soft wood and would not be able to disrupt the foundation of the house. We're now trying to identify the tree and gather information to see if this is true so if it can become a problem we'd rather remove it before it's too big a problem.
Probably the most identifiable trait is the seed pods. They are big enough to sit in the palm of your hand, probably about three inches outside diameter, and maybe a half an inch thick, kind of a ring in the shape of the letter "C" (like a 1" wide flattened bean pod curved around into the shape of a "C"). Dark brown in color and hard with bumps where the seeds exist inside. Very strange looking. Been searching online and can't find anything on it. I have some pictures at home but none with me here.
Any help identifying this "plant" (not even sure if it's really a "tree") would be greatly appreciated. And any advice if having this so close to the foundation might become an issue would be helpful, too.
Thanks in advance for your help, Scott
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I do not have the answer. From my experience in Florida when you talk about those robust woody roots I think of the banyon tree. I do not know what yours is.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
If is a woody, shedding, perennial plant usually consisting of one to several main stems its most likely a tree. The interesting thing is that a tree really is made up of many annual parts - e.g., leaves, non-woody roots and so on.

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When you say the tree is fast growing, has fern-like leaves, this reminds me of a locust tree.

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And if it has yellow flowers it could be a Palo Verde.
wrote:

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Hi,
You misunderstood he said "Ear tree" Enterolobium cyclocarpum, don't think I'd want this monster close to my foundation. HTH -_- how no NEWS is good
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Sounds like a mimosa tree, also called silk tree.
Gloria
infiniteMPG wrote:

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ear tree:
http://www.greendealer-exotic-seeds.com/seeds/GuanacasteTree.html
infiniteMPG wrote:

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COOL seed pods. I'd love to get my hands on some of those!
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