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Ste2021

Should I stay or should I go?

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Hi I have a 25 year old sycamore tree in my garden which predates a nearby conservatory (about 20 feet away, built 15 years ago). There has been some movement in the conservatory brickwork in recent years which may be caused by the roots, I have attached a mechanism which details little or no movement over the last 6 months so it may have settled. The dilemma I now have is whether I should (A) remove the tree or (B) keep it. I have invited tree sugeons and builders to give advice and estimates for works but they seem to steer in the direction that best suits their pocket. The tree does need pruning and I am inclined to do that and patch up the brickwork/continue to monitor but there seems to be some risk either way. Any advice gratefully received!

Tree.jpg

Conservatory.jpg

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I would put a fair amount of money on that being nothing to do with the tree,,, the tree looks to be 15,16,17,18 ft at least from the brick work, as others have said have a look at where your top water goes, then think what weather we have had of late,? , this should give you your answer, it looks pretty straight forward to me ,,,

 

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19 hours ago, Khriss said:

Almost brick for brick like my sisters  house. Certainly  dont start blaming tree until you got more evidence or it could make bad  - worse. Whats happening next door? They any problems? K

Thanks All. Khriss, are you saying I could make matters worse by removing the tree? Next door did have some large hrubs closer to my structure all cut down now. Also, I am not sure where all this would sit in terms of insurance should things deteriorate.

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18 hours ago, spuddog0507 said:

I would put a fair amount of money on that being nothing to do with the tree,,, the tree looks to be 15,16,17,18 ft at least from the brick work, as others have said have a look at where your top water goes, then think what weather we have had of late,? , this should give you your answer, it looks pretty straight forward to me ,,,

 

Thanks Spuddog0507, the walls on the inside of the conservatory have looked particularly damp this last winter. We did have some decking type wood platorm (weather treated) at ground level and right up to the  brick at one time so possibly it has caused some moisture issue (they did become wet/ mossy). I am not sure that this would in turn cause any stuctural movements as seen in the brickwork but I am no expert. There are roots in the area too.

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2 hours ago, Ste2021 said:

Thanks All. Khriss, are you saying I could make matters worse by removing the tree? Next door did have some large hrubs closer to my structure all cut down now. Also, I am not sure where all this would sit in terms of insurance should things deteriorate.

My normal request on being faced with a tree related subsidence claim  is a soil report, structural engineers  report and tree report, without all of those you dont know wether its the house build quality, the tree, the drains or  soil shrinkage. Or All of them! IF yr soil is shrinkable clay removing the tree could cause soil heave as soil rehydrates. But you need to know exactly why yr house has those cracks before you act. K

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1 hour ago, Khriss said:

My normal request on being faced with a tree related subsidence claim  is a soil report, structural engineers  report and tree report, without all of those you dont know wether its the house build quality, the tree, the drains or  soil shrinkage. Or All of them! IF yr soil is shrinkable clay removing the tree could cause soil heave as soil rehydrates. But you need to know exactly why yr house has those cracks before you act. K

Yup. Those surveys would cost more than the 1K excess you're likely to have. It may be worth involving insurance.

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1 hour ago, Khriss said:

My normal request on being faced with a tree related subsidence claim  is a soil report, structural engineers  report and tree report, without all of those you dont know wether its the house build quality, the tree, the drains or  soil shrinkage. Or All of them! IF yr soil is shrinkable clay removing the tree could cause soil heave as soil rehydrates. But you need to know exactly why yr house has those cracks before you act. K

Just remove the tree, it will outgrow it's location, it has reverted to type, it's too close to the house and I doubt it has anything to do the damsge. 

 

Spending £1000's getting all those reports would be a complete waste if time.. It's a crappy 25 year old Acer. Next to a shoddy falling down conservatory.

 

What are you going to do if the tree is causing subsidence?

Fell it and fix the problem.

 

What are you going to do if the report say it might cause heave?

Fell it and fix the problem or keep the tree and hope it never dies?

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5 minutes ago, benedmonds said:

Just remove the tree, it will outgrow it's location, it has reverted to type, it's too close to the house and I doubt it has anything to do the damsge. 

 

Spending £1000's getting all those reports would be a complete waste if time.. It's a crappy 25 year old Acer. Next to a shoddy falling down conservatory.

 

What are you going to do if the tree is causing subsidence?

Fell it and fix the problem.

 

What are you going to do if the report say it might cause heave?

Fell it and fix the problem or keep the tree and hope it never dies?

The tree predates the conservatory. I'd be cautious about recommending removal without site investigations.

 

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38 minutes ago, Mark J said:

The tree predates the conservatory. I'd be cautious about recommending removal without site investigations.

 

Why though.. what is you advice if there is a moisture defficit? 

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1 hour ago, benedmonds said:

Why though.. what is you advice if there is a moisture defficit? 

An engineering solution might be favourable.
Without knowing the structure of the soil there is no way to predict heave.

Edited by Mark J

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From a builders perspective. If the worst subsidence is shown in the pic and there has been no movement in 6 months then I would advise.
Dig a soakaway in the garden to take the rainwater instead of it just dispersing into the ground. Cluck out the damaged muck and repoint. Sit under neath the shade of the tree and have a beer and admire your work.
In my opinion the rainwater is far more likely to cause the minimal subsidence shown than the tree

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