Trees should be regarded as real assets to our homes, however, occasionally they can cause problems to nearby (about 1.5m) structures. If you are concerned then contact us for professional advice.
Trees should be regarded as real assets to our homes and gardens for a multitude of reasons, not least because they are so beautiful. However, occasionally they can cause problems to nearby structures such as subsidence and other forms of structural damage.
If a tree grows very close (typically within 1.5m) of a lightly loaded wall or structure, then as it grows, the base of the stem or the large diameter roots very close to the trunk may exert pressure and cause it to collapse or lift.
If a house is founded upon a shrinkable clay soil, then trees may cause or add to movement damage because they draw water from the soil and cause it to dry out. Some trees require more moisture than others but all trees will require more moisture when they are fully grown with a large crown, so it is worth considering these aspects when planting new trees.
Trees growing close to drains and sewers may cause ‘direct’ damage if very close. At a greater distance it is common for tree roots to enter a pipe via an existing hole or gap and then to cause a blockage once the roots multiply. Where access is possible, clearing roots and inserting a flexible liner may solve the problem. This is mainly the case with old leaky drains; modern plastic drains are seldom affected.
The proximity of trees is often taken into consideration when a house is insured or valued. This does not necessarily mean that a tree poses a threat, but unfortunately, trees are often blamed for any movement in a building. If you have a tree that is close to a building or its foundations, it is always advisable to contact a professional tree surgeon to help you manage this risk and to manage the tree’s development both above and below ground.
Do trees cause subsidence?
The highest risk factor for any building with a tree in close proximity is the soil type. Generally clay soils are most prone to heave and subsidence, which are caused by the changes in water levels and are very prevalent in the London area. Clay soils can expand when a tree is removed because that tree would have drawn a high proportion of the moisture from the surrounding soil but is no longer there to do that, this is known as heave. Subsidence is the opposite of heave. This can be caused where a tree has grown to an extent that it is taking too much water from the soil, causing the clay to shrink and crack. This movement in the soil can cause problems with foundations, also known as subsidence. Again, professional tree surgeons can limit these effects by regularly maintaining the crown above ground through reduction, thereby managing the root system below ground, or in the case of heave, performing a phased/staged tree removal in order to allow the ground to adjust to the changes in water level over a period of time, before completely removing the tree.
Trees are not always planted in appropriate places, and the chosen species may not suitable for small town gardens. The mismanagement of trees over a long period of time may mean that tree pruning or tree reduction is not effective and removal and subsequent replanting may be the best option. We are always happy to discuss the options for replanting trees, where the removal of an existing tree is necessary. It is always possible to select and manage an appropriate species of tree or shrub in any size garden, with any level of light available to it.
In South West London, where space is limited, professional tree surgeons perform an important role, in managing trees and ensuring that they can thrive in urban areas without risking damage to properties. If tree surgeons were not able to manage trees effectively, then London would not enjoy the level of greenery of the diversity of species that we do.
Trees, shrubs and hedges play an important role in making such a congested, busy city, an enjoyable, pleasant and ecologically diverse place to live.
If you are concerned about a tree our London based tree surgeons would be happy to advise on the tree work necessary and offer a free quotation.
Other questions and answers you may find useful
General Tree Surgery Questions
Do I need permission to have work carried out on my trees?
It is essential to consider Tree Preservation Orders when planning some work. Searches can be made online or we can undertake these for you if you wish….
Why do I need to employ a tree surgeon?
Tree surgery is a highly skilled and potentially very dangerous occupation, not to mention the significant risk of damaging your trees……
How much does tree surgery cost?
We do not have a minimum charge, unlike other tree surgeons, and we do not have an hourly charge, as each tree and site is assessed on an individual basis. Our assurance is that the work will be carried out by our qualified tree surgeons, to your satisfaction, for the cost quoted in advance….
Can trees damage my property?
Trees should be regarded as real assets to our homes, however, occasionally they can cause problems to nearby (about 1.5m) structures. If you are concerned then contact us for professional advice. …
When is the best time of year to have work done to my trees and hedges?
It is recommended that trees are worked on after leaf fall and before bud burst, however is not true for all species and we can give you a written report and recommendation for your specific trees and hedges….
Do mature trees need special care?
Regular maintenance ensures continued health and preventing a problem costs less than curing one once it has developed, whatever the age of the tree….
How can I tell if my tree is hazardous?
It is a property owner’s responsibility to ensure his/her trees are in safe condition. Assessments should be done by qualified arboricultural consultants….
What can I do if my neighbour’s trees are causing me problems?
You can prune or remove any branches on your side as long as you don’t damage the tree. TPOs may need to be considered. You must also offer the debris back to the owner….
Will the presence of birds or bats make any difference to my tree work?
If any type of bird is nesting in a tree or hedge then it is legally protected, so long as the nest is in use. This can delay work until the nesting season is over….
Specific to Take A Bough Questions
Are you a qualified tree surgeon and do you have insurance?
All of our site team have the required National Proficiency Test Council qualifications and each tree surgeon carries a card displaying their completed qualifications. We have both public liability and employers liability insurance ensuring property and people are covered….
How do you work out the cost of tree surgery?
While it may be possible in some circumstances to offer a rough estimate of the cost of tree surgery based on a photograph and a description of the access, it is generally necessary for our qualified tree surgeons to make a site visit, not only to view the tree and assess the access, but also to discuss the options open to you….
How long will I have to wait to have the work done after I have accepted the quotation?
We will always try to get work booked in as soon as possible and will make every effort to accommodate your preferences….
My garden has no side access and limited space, how will that affect the work on my tree?
It is always possible to remove or prune or reduce trees of any size in limited spaces and we have many years of experience in doing so in your area……
Can I use the wood chippings from my trees?
Yes you can, though some chipped trees are unsuitable for garden use. We can advise you of the suitability of your specific trees….