Jump to content
  • 0
BellaB

The inevitable tree too close to house on clay soil question

Question

Hello

I’m new here, and thanks in advance

I live in WSuffolk, it’s clay, we’re atop a hill, if that’s relevant.

2 story House, walls go down 1m deep, below which is concrete in trench.  (We needed soil taken away after an oil spill elsewhere, so I saw this)  No sign of subsidence.   Previously the whole estate was a pig farm.  Maybe the odd shelter here and there, maybe some shelter trees. It wasn’t woodland. 

 

It’s been standing about 22 yrs,  now surrounded by patio, with a lean-to kit built conservatory, which sits on concrete pads, will be demolished within a year or two, it’s in an appalling state!  To be replaced by patio I expect.
 

 Patio shields soil somewhat, It’s on a bed of mortar blobs and not well pointed. Some water may get through but not all. Prior to that going in 8 yrs ago it was gravel. Next door has an original patio laid as well, and the birch roots are lifting it nearest the tree.   Both houses about 5m distant. So we’ve had a request to do something about the tree. 
 

The original owners (probably) planted trees down the boundary,( I’m sure they don’t predate the houses,)and closest to the house is a silver birch, and then a Malus, then a palm, each about  2m apart. The birch is now taller than the house. Trunk about 30cm diameter  We topped it about 6-8yrs back and it rewarded us with a spurt of growth, and two trunks instead of one!

 

We've had a tree surgeon look at it, and he advises to take it out in one go. We’ve heard about heave and that worries us, but he dismissed the idea.  He actually said taking it down gradually would stimulate the roots to grow more. What do you think of that please?  We’ve already cut it back once, as I said. 
 

We chose him because he did a balanced and attractive job of thinning a neighbour’s young trees, but I don’t know his training. He said he wasn’t insured to give a guaranteed opinion, and to inquire further, and so I’ve found you in my search. Sorry pic is rotated. Don’t know how to fix that!

Can you help please?  Many thanks40A93A5B-F6CD-48C1-9BB5-6B391533B0E5.jpeg.a0d01a5238ddd8fd798775c39de69abc.jpeg

Edited by BellaB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 1
36 minutes ago, Khriss said:

In a word Bellinda - No.  Frankly you will need far more detail and proper assessment by a subsidence savvy arborist plus an engineers report for soil and...

Stop scaring the op. An expensive report would tell you nothing... It might give you a likelihood or risk level of heave damage occurring. But even if high risk (which it isn't. See daltontrees posts) the solution is to remove the tree and repair the problem.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

What is the intent here ?? What are you asking ?? Is the tree safe , is it affecting yr property ,  do you like trees ? K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, BellaB said:

Hello

I’m new here, and thanks in advance

I live in WSuffolk, it’s clay, we’re atop a hill, if that’s relevant.

2 story House, walls go down 1m deep, below which is concrete in trench.  (We needed soil taken away after an oil spill elsewhere, so I saw this)  No sign of subsidence.   Previously the whole estate was a pig farm.  Maybe the odd shelter here and there, maybe some shelter trees. It wasn’t woodland. 

 

It’s been standing about 22 yrs,  now surrounded by patio, with a lean-to kit built conservatory, which sits on concrete pads, will be demolished within a year or two, it’s in an appalling state!  To be replaced by patio I expect.
 

 Patio shields soil somewhat, It’s on a bed of mortar blobs and not well pointed. Some water may get through but not all. Prior to that going in 8 yrs ago it was gravel. Next door has an original patio laid as well, and the birch roots are lifting it nearest the tree.   Both houses about 5m distant. So we’ve had a request to do something about the tree. 
 

The original owners (probably) planted trees down the boundary,( I’m sure they don’t predate the houses,)and closest to the house is a silver birch, and then a Malus, then a palm, each about  2m apart. The birch is now taller than the house. Trunk about 30cm diameter  We topped it about 6-8yrs back and it rewarded us with a spurt of growth, and two trunks instead of one!

 

We've had a tree surgeon look at it, and he advises to take it out in one go. We’ve heard about heave and that worries us, but he dismissed the idea.  He actually said taking it down gradually would stimulate the roots to grow more. What do you think of that please?  We’ve already cut it back once, as I said. 
 

We chose him because he did a balanced and attractive job of thinning a neighbour’s young trees, but I don’t know his training. He said he wasn’t insured to give a guaranteed opinion, and to inquire further, and so I’ve found you in my search. Sorry pic is rotated. Don’t know how to fix that!

Can you help please?  Many thanks40A93A5B-F6CD-48C1-9BB5-6B391533B0E5.jpeg.a0d01a5238ddd8fd798775c39de69abc.jpeg

I have heard it's best to reduce it over a number of years- possibly in 2 or 3 goes if heave is a risk. It might need an expert who charges alot to tell you this or not...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
50 minutes ago, richyrich said:

I have heard it's best to reduce it over a number of years- possibly in 2 or 3 goes if heave is a risk. It might need an expert who charges alot to tell you this or not...

There's no point in phased reductions. The soil moisture will ultimately balance out whether you deck the tree in a oner or remove it over time.

If the tree is younger than the house/conservatory, heave is very unlikely.

Without knowing the properties of the soil and site it's impossible to assess it.

Edited by Mark J
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I think the old staged reduction thing is 20 year old science now, things have moved on I believe. Not sure what the latest 'expert' opinion is. Personally the logic behind the tree throwing out more roots to make up for all the panic growth it will put on after a reduction makes perfect sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
20 minutes ago, Steve Bullman said:

I think the old staged reduction thing is 20 year old science now, things have moved on I believe. Not sure what the latest 'expert' opinion is. Personally the logic behind the tree throwing out more roots to make up for all the panic growth it will put on after a reduction makes perfect sense to me.

It's a birch though, it'll have a bit of a tantrum and die off.
Pops etc., then aye, they'll go crackers.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
41 minutes ago, Steve Bullman said:

I think the old staged reduction thing is 20 year old science now, things have moved on I believe. Not sure what the latest 'expert' opinion is. Personally the logic behind the tree throwing out more roots to make up for all the panic growth it will put on after a reduction makes perfect sense to me.

20 years is not a huge moment  in the tree world... k

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, richyrich said:

I have heard it's best to reduce it over a number of years- possibly in 2 or 3 goes if heave is a risk. It might need an expert who charges alot to tell you this or not...

Hence yr post . K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
9 hours ago, Steve Bullman said:

I think the old staged reduction thing is 20 year old science now, things have moved on I believe. Not sure what the latest 'expert' opinion is. Personally the logic behind the tree throwing out more roots to make up for all the panic growth it will put on after a reduction makes perfect sense to me.

The tree will try and replace shoots to be in equilibrium with existing roots. Won't produce more roots.

 

The situation with pops is different, Poplar reproduces asexually for the most part and throwing up suckers is an automatic reaction to felling or heavy pruning.

 

The staged reduction thing has been discredited, as you suggest.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.