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joepatr

Heave / subsidence from oak on clay soil

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Hi all

 

I’m based in North West London (an area with shrinkable clay subsoil) and currently have an oak tree in my garden, approx 6/7 metres tall. 

 

I’d like to have this taken down eventually but am obviously concerned about the risk of not only subsidence but also heave. 

 

Could anyone recommend the best way to manage this to ensure ensure the safety of my property? I was thinking the best way would be to have the tree slowly reduced over a period of time before having the stump totally removed. 

 

Would this be the way forward, if so, how much and over what period? I was thinking taking it down in quarters over the next few years but one of the local tree surgeons suggested thirds every couple of months. 

 

I’d be grateful for any suggestions and also any companies in the Hillingdon area who could help. 

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Staged reductions are no longer perceived to be  of any benefit (apart from to the tree surgeons bank account). 

 

There's lots of factors involved as to the risk of subsidence, or indeed heave, apart from tree, such as the age of the property and the distance of the tree from the property. 

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1 hour ago, joepatr said:

Hi all

 

I’m based in North West London (an area with shrinkable clay subsoil) and currently have an oak tree in my garden, approx 6/7 metres tall. 

 

I’d like to have this taken down eventually but am obviously concerned about the risk of not only subsidence but also heave. 

 

Could anyone recommend the best way to manage this to ensure ensure the safety of my property? I was thinking the best way would be to have the tree slowly reduced over a period of time before having the stump totally removed. 

 

Would this be the way forward, if so, how much and over what period? I was thinking taking it down in quarters over the next few years but one of the local tree surgeons suggested thirds every couple of months. 

 

I’d be grateful for any suggestions and also any companies in the Hillingdon area who could help. 

A bit more detail about the house might help.  If it is modern with the correct footings it may well be a non issue.

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41 minutes ago, Gary Prentice said:

Staged reductions are no longer perceived to be  of any benefit (apart from to the tree surgeons bank account). 

 

There's lots of factors involved as to the risk of subsidence, or indeed heave, apart from tree, such as the age of the property and the distance of the tree from the property. 

Not that I’m wise after the event, I’m not wise at all really.

 

But I remember listening to the rationale behind staged removals at college and thinking it was nonsense.

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It is Mick.

 

You need to involve a structural engineer with experience of these situations Joe.

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12 minutes ago, Mark Bolam said:

It is Mick.

 

You need to involve a structural engineer with experience of these situations Joe.

To right also you insurance company may need to informed or take there advice if they say anything just incase you have a problem in the future. 

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12 minutes ago, Mark Bolam said:

You need to involve a structural engineer with experience of these situations Joe.

What is a structural engineer going tell you of any use?

It is a pretty small young tree, it is only going to get bigger so subsidence could become an issue..

As its a young tree it is unlikely to have caused a soil moisture deficit.

It is small therefore was probably not there before the house.  If it was there before the house then the house is newish and should have been built with sufficient foundations..  

There is nothing practical that I am aware of you can do to prevent any heave.

Remove the tree fix any damage..

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Ben, we know nothing about the situation. We don’t even know if it’s a young tree.

A 6/7m tree could have a 5’ dia butt!

PI of soil?

Age of house?

Age of tree?

Type/depth of footings?

 

You’re right though, if it’s going to heave it’s going to heave.

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If it heaves then it's not just the foundations potentially at risk, if it's a solid floor with no void underneath then floor could suffer from heave.

As mentioned much more detail needed. 

When building first part of our house in our woodland (clay soil) had long sessions with Building Control over depth and type of foundations due to surrounding trees none of which were above 9" dia at base nor particularly close.

 

Lots of useful info here;

 

https://www.labcwarranty.co.uk/blog/how-to-reduce-the-effects-of-ground-heave-following-tree-removal/

Edited by petercb

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Hi guys thanks for the prompt response. 

 

The house is built in 1926, quite some time ago. I don’t know how much exactly the diameter is, I will attempt to estimate measurements later, but have attached a photo showing the bottom of said tree, but it certainly isn’t a Young tree. 

 

No damage to the house from what I can see, it’s just trying to prevent something in the future. 

07AEE300-1334-45FA-AC46-3CAF931A31B7.jpeg

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Hillingdon ? Problys walked past it today.

Have you engaged an engineer and an arborist Mr Joepatr ? Because they will have given a thorough view of the situation,  which an online guess from us will not suffice. k

 

( Obvs those guys do charge )

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