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Where can I find out about damage to property from trees?

(18 Posts)
rickman Tue 02-Aug-05 20:57:19

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iota Tue 02-Aug-05 21:01:42

try googling subsidence and oak tree

found this hbos

morningpaper Tue 02-Aug-05 21:04:46

What sort of soil do you have in your area?

Most councils have a tree specialist - give them a ring and ask for advice, they might give you a visit.

morningpaper Tue 02-Aug-05 21:05:02

(Ask for the Council's Tree Officer)

BadgerBadger Tue 02-Aug-05 21:44:33

I would think twice about calling your local council regarding the tree, the reason being that my aunt has a protected species in her garden, she isn't allowed to cut even a branch withough incurring a penalty possibly running to <£10,000! (£10,000 for felling the tree entirely, £1000 for removing a single branch).

The council call to her house annually to make a plan of the garden and the tree to ensure that it hasn't been touched at all.

At present it isn't causing structural damage to her property. Her neighbour has a tree (protected species) and it is causing structural damage to her home. She isn't allowed to touch it.

It might be worth hiring an arbourculturalist privately for a report, but I don't know if there is an onus on them to report protected species.

Of course, I have no idea whether Oak's are protected, but it might be worth checking this out before you notify anyone in 'authority'.

HTH, although I know it all sounds pretty unbelievable!

rickman Tue 02-Aug-05 22:52:43

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Mirage Tue 02-Aug-05 23:07:22

The tree could already have a TPO on it without you being aware,I think the best way to deal with it is via the council.If you cut it down without their permission,someone is bound to notice & inform the TPO Officer.Also if you live in a conservation area,you need planning permission to lop branches,remove trees ect.It is usually free to apply for pp regarding trees.

If you want a rough idea of how far the roots have spread-look at the spread of the branches & imagine it in a mirror image.The spread of the branches usually correlates to the spread of the roots.Another thing to consider,is if the tree is removed,the amount of water it was taking up will remain in the soil & could cause heave,which could damage your propert as much as subsidence.

Good luck.

rickman Tue 02-Aug-05 23:25:38

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BadgerBadger Tue 02-Aug-05 23:53:02

Apparently Oaks aren't protected as a species but may be subject to Felling controls, Tree Preservation Orders, Conservation Area status and planning controls.

If your home is a HA property, it would be easier to let them deal with it .

According to this chart (about half way down the page), an Oak of 24m in height should be at least 30m from property.

I'm all for conservation, but that a homeowner or tenant can be forced to keep a tree which can damage property, TBH.

BadgerBadger Tue 02-Aug-05 23:55:52

But, (just read more of the link) an arborculturalist has submitted that he feels 18m is a safe distance for an Oak from property

bobs Tue 02-Aug-05 23:57:37

I think it's the deeds for the house if there a PO on any trees - ask next door.
Here I believe we are allowed to cut up to a certain amount off ours - dead branches etc

rickman Wed 03-Aug-05 00:17:04

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BadgerBadger Wed 03-Aug-05 01:01:10

Oh, sorry! You wrote 18'!

Not with it, must go to bed!

pooka Wed 03-Aug-05 08:13:31

It may be worth thinking that removing the tree could cause more subsidence structural problems than leaving it. If you think about the likely age and root spread of a mature oak tree, its roots may be inherently part of the foundations of the house, and their shrinkage following felling could cause problems???? Am no expert, but my grandmother's house has massive oak about 2m away and this is the argument she and her arboriculturalist made against the tree being felled by the Council (it was on the pavement and the Council were concerned about it's health). Saying that, granny's house 500 years old and has, as a result, funny foundations.

pooka Wed 03-Aug-05 08:41:43

If you approach the trees officer at the Council for a view, she/he could apply to put a TPO on the tree. However, in doing that they have to take into account how reasonable that would be, and a large oak 1m from your property would be unlikely to qualify, I would have thought. You have the right to appeal to the ODPM against TPO being made, I think.
Part of the problem I think is that one tree officer/arboriculturalist will disagree with another about the impact of trees on a property. Surveyors tend to take a very cautious approach whereas trees officers have tree protection as their frst priority, though of course the impact of trees on structures has to be taken into account.

morningpaper Wed 03-Aug-05 09:04:51

Pooka is correct, it is not the presence of the tree per se but the damage that a CHANGE of environment could cause. The problem is greatest if you have clay soil. This shrinks during very dry spells and can cause problems with foundations where there are tree roots under houses.

Bear in mind that these problems ARE RARE. The 'recommended distances' often quoted are actually The furthest that tree roots have been found away from the trunk of the tree - not the average likely to cause damage or anything like that!!!! Plenty of houses are built next to big monsters and have no problems at all.

morningpaper Wed 03-Aug-05 09:05:43

Do you have any subsidence or is there subsidence in your area? That is the main indicator that there might be problems in the future.

rickman Wed 03-Aug-05 09:21:30

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