Small ornamental varieties planted around 15-20 feet from the house should be ok but it is best to seek advice from a qualified arborist before making a decision. In these cases taking out the trees would possibly do more harm than good. Woodworm, Dry Rot and Wet Rot. However not all trees cause subsidence and it is also practically impossible to predict which ones will or will not cause problems in the future. While it is a sapling it won't cause a problem, but some trees can grow very quickly. Subsidence is more common in clay soils which swell and shrink according to the level of moisture. Subsidence Damage Caused By Trees. The Judge in this case agreed with the Defendant that the general risk of tree root subsidence is not sufficient to make all damage reasonably foreseeable, otherwise every claim due to subsidence would succeed. Many properties experience cracking from time to time, but this is not necessarily evidence of subsidence: Buildings naturally shrink and swell in response to changes in temperature and humidity, leading to minor cracks where walls and ceilings meet new homes and recently built extensions often experience cracking as the structures settle under their own weight, Fine cracks are also common in freshly plastered walls as they dry out, How to tell if your property is subsiding. If trees have been in place before buildings were constructed it is likely that the subsoil would have been in equilibrium at the time of building. Most of us love trees but they have their place – and their place is not too close to buildings where they can cause extensive damage. A usual course of action will be the management of the tree with regular pruning to ensure it doesn’t make problems worse. Over 60% of all subsidence claims are triggered by trees. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. A qualified arborist will advise you or your insurers as to the best method of handling a tree in your own situation. The roots can stretch out in search of moisture and there are some types of tree that are more likely to cause subsidence damage than others, due to the size to which they can grow and the way in which the root system is structured. Soils with high clay content are more likely to be affected as trees suck out moisture, shrinking the soil, and causing movement and cracking in walls. If you remove this tree then that is 400 gallons pf water per day that is no longer being taken from the ground and the ground may become water logged. You can find more information about how we look at subsidence cases below. Email team@bickersinsurance.co.uk . In urban areas willow tree roots have been known to invade drains and pipework. What are the four worst trees for causing subsidence? When mature they can have a very large canopy and the tree requires vast amounts of moisture. If the subsidence is caused by a tree, this can often be remedied by cutting it back so less water is extracted from the soil. Thinking of buying a house with a large tree in the garden? If you are experiencing problems with a tree or shrub then don’t remove it straight away, make sure you take advice as removal of a tree may make matters worse. If the trees are removed their roots will no longer … Telephone 01903 791340 . A mature deciduous tree can draw up to 50,000 litres of water a year from the surrounding soil. Subsidence Cause. Severing just one of a tree's major roots during careless excavation for construction or services can cause the loss of up to 20 per cent of the root system; this undermines the tree's ability to absorb water and also leaves it unstable in high winds. This shrink–swell behaviour is the most damaging geohazard in Britain today, costing the economy £540 million following a drought in 1991. Vegetation-related subsidence corresponds to the growing season from April to October, the damage usually reaching maximum severity in the autumn – when most insurance claims are submitted. Yes, potentially. Are there any trees that are suitable to grow near a house? Woodworm can also infest ordinary household furniture causing a home insurance claim problem.... Types of Door and Window Locks – when purchasing a home insurance policy, you may find that your insurance company want you to have certain security measures in force at your property. The tree roots, in their search for water, will increase the drying out of the soil in the surrounding area, and increase the likelihood of the foundations moving and causing … Most of our policies you can now buy online and receive instant documentation. Many trees self seed quite extensively and you may not even notice a sapling growing close to the house. Causes Dissolution of limestone. Sometimes a physical root barrier will be recommended but this is often considered the least effective and it has the tendency to be a more expensive option. Recent newspaper reports have highlighted that 2017 could experience a serious drought caused by a hot dry summer and the driest winter in 20 years. If left untreated it can huge amounts of damage to the interior of your home. Level monitoring will demonstrate which vegetation is most likely to be involved. I have an old fig tree in the corner of my walled garden, on my side of the flint wall which has been planted in a raised bed. The process can take many years but the damagecaused by heave is, in most cases, much more severe than that caused by subsidence. There are different varieties of oak trees, but most have shallow spreading roots that may cause damage to house foundations if grown near a house. Trees and large shrubs with expansive root networks can be a problem if they are too close to your property as they may suck too much water from the soil. Monthly payments available. If they can establish that the trees are implicated in subsidence then you have to act however since they have identified leaking drains, which indicates an excess of water as the cause of the current claim it’s difficult to see how vegetation can be implicated where vegetation related subsidence involves desiccation of the soil. Tree roots planted close to your home extract and absorb water and moisture from the soil beneath your home, drying out the soil, and causing it to shrink and destabilise the ground. Welcome to Bickers Insurance Services, specialists in Property Insurance, including unoccupied property insurance, UK holiday home insurance, property insurance for people working abroad, or in a care home or nursing home. Essentially, it is impossible to rule out trees as a cause of subsidence, it actually depends on the soil type. Mrs Kane was liable for the damage caused by the Cypress hedge, but not by the oak tree, largely due to its size and proximity to the Khans' … Leylandii roots extract so much water that they can cause clay soil to shrink, leading to subsidence in buildings. " The bay tree has a shallow root system" Hmmm, plants/trees require as much root to take up water and nutrients as they have branches/stem to deliver to so, even if the root system is shallow the roots will therefore have spread some 16 or 17 feet from the trunk. All our policies include Legal assistance as standard up to £50,000 This offer Legal protection for problems relating to employment, contracts, property and personal injury etc. Most subsidence is caused by "thirsty" trees and dry weather. People often underestimate how large trees can grow, experts say. Required fields are marked *, You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
. Again, a qualified professional will give advice as to how deal with the tree. Trees and shrubs can also be a factor, particularly if they’re close to your foundations. The small crack at the left side of this double-height bay occurred when the windows were replaced, due to the upper level of the bay being improperly supported whilst the old ground-floor windows were removed. One of the most costly maintenance problems for homeowners is woodworm, dry rot and wet rot. Trees and shrubs can damage the foundations of the property causing subsidence. Preventing or Dealing with Subsidence and Structural Problems.Whilst subsidence is usually covered by a building insurance policy, it is definitely something that you do not want to happen at your property if at all possible. Subsidence is described as “ a movement involved in the site, normally downwards, so that damage occurs to the building standing upon it”. Subsidence . There are treatments and remedies to prevent it’s spread and to eliminate the problem it becomes critical. Bigger trees that cause subsidence specifically take liquid from the soil, causing the soil, and thus the ground beneath the house, to shrink. We like to offer all our customers a first class service, which is backed up by our Trust pilot ratings. In some instances it will be recommended that the tree or shrub is removed completely. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. The insurance covered redecorating, but no further action was deemed required. Any large tree with vigorous growth has the potential to cause subsidence damage if it is close enough to a house. Estimates suggest that around 70% of all subsidence cases are a result of tree roots absorbing all the moisture out of soil. Heat waves in 2003 and 2006 led to peaks in subsidence claims. More than one in 10 have planted trees close to their house, according to a survey by insurance firm Zurich. Liability for damage caused by tree roots. All our policies cover Home Emergency as standard up to £500. this offers protection against unexpected events such as the failure of your main heating system, blockage of drains or failure of your domestic gas or electricity supply. Not such a happy scenario. Subsidence frequently causes major problems in karst terrains, where dissolution of limestone by fluid flow in the subsurface creates voids (i.e., caves).If the roof of a void becomes too weak, it can collapse and the overlying rock and earth will fall into the space, causing subsidence at the surface. Low rise buildings on shrinkable clay soils are vulnerable to movement and structural damage due to moisture abstraction by trees and other vegetation groups. Tall hedges can also contribute to soil drying so it is advisable to maintain hedges in a subsidence prone area to a height equivalent to the distance of the hedge to the building. Fig Tree Causing Subsidence? The main causes are: - Source Number. Right, © 2020 All Rights reserved Assetsure is a trading name of Hildon Park Ltd which is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No.592997, Our phone lines are reserved for our customers or potential customers who may also contact us using the, Comprehensive insurance for Electric bikes, Militaria / Military Collectable Insurance. Rather, a tree's position, height or condition, the type of soil, or a combination of these factors would need to indicate the risk of subsidence in a particular case. Clay is approximately 1/3 water and can dry out by trees and shrubs drinking the clay dry, a problem which is intensified during long hot summers. I think that in Britain we get really anxious (and with good reason) because on clay soils large trees can take up a lot of water and cause contraction of the soil around the foundations leading to subsidence. They look great but the best place for them is at the bottom of the garden – at least 11m from … The main cause of subsidence movement in the UK is the influence of tree roots in clay soil. Large wall shrubs, most notably Pyracantha and Wisteria, can caused localised subsidence. Subsidence cases can be complex, requiring expert evidence and technical data. We’ll need to look at the symptoms of the problem to find out what caused it. Subsidence may also cause doors and windows to stick as the building’s structure becomes distorted. Bickers Insurance Services is run by two Brothers, Colin Bickers and Julian Bickers. This causes a lack of support to a property’s foundations and can lead to subsidence. Not all circumstances in which a tree grows close to a house will give rise to subsidence. In many cases buildings and trees have happily co-existed for many years without any damage being caused. For most people, this involves having good quality door and window locks. Worse still – a tree’s search for water can suck moisture from the ground leaving clay soils shrinking. A mature willow tree, for example, can drink up to 400 gallons of water per day in growing season. … They usually appear suddenly, especially after long periods of dry weather, and tend to be: Diagonal, and wider at the top than at the bottom. Old homes may have shallower foundations – although if they’re built of bricks and soft lime mortar, they might also be more flexible, and less likely to be badly damaged by any movement. Tree Related Subsidence Damage Arboricultural Risk and Solutions, An Overview. Trees and subsidence Risk assessment & management. While the tree is growing the surrounding soil is died out butr when the tree is removed the moisture content builds up, causing the ground to swell. If their tree is causing damage to your property then it is their obligation to rectify the situation. The tree roots, in their search for water, will increase the drying out of the soil in the surrounding area, and increase the likelihood of the foundations moving and causing subsidence. BEYOND HORTLINK 212: Dr Neil Hipps advances from Hortlink 212 with a further paper considering the evidence of the impact of pruning trees upon subsidence damage to nearby properties . The next meeting of the group is to be confirmed. Some species absorb a lot more water, making the soil much drier. This can lead to loss of support to inadequate foundations and subsequent subsidence. One of the most common causes of subsidence damage to property is from clay shrinkage. It may also be caused by trees and shrubs which can absorb significant volumes of water from the soil. But if you are thinking of buying a house built pre 1950, and it is in an area of clay soils, you should assess any nearby tree for whether its roots may potentially reach the soil around your house foundations. But like the willow their roots are highly invasive and are known to spread up to 40 meters, again causing problems to any pipes or drains in their path. The tree roots will not normally damage the foundations of a house directly but they can increase the likelihood of subsidence when they are combined with a clay soil, which shrinks and swells as moisture content decreases and increases. A tree’s roots will cover a roughly circular area around it; up to about twice its height and that may quickly start to affect the soil under the house. If you suspect that trees or shrubs are causing damage to your property then you need to take action as soon as possible. Houses built since the 1950's generally have deeper foundations to avoid the problems due to drying out of the soil. Factors causing Subsidence of Buildings, especially Tree Roots in Clay Soils. The oak tree is responsible for the largest number of subsidence claims in the UK. Willow trees are best avoided in all but the largest gardens and then only planted well away from the house and any possible pipework. If it has been determined that a tree is causing damage to the foundations of a property due to shrinkage of clay subsoil beneath the foundations there are several options to take including topping, removal, thinning, pollarding. Subsidence can occur for a number of reasons: Tree Roots; The most common cause of subsidence is tree roots, most commonly, those of willow, elm, ash, and oak. Your email address will not be published. Homeowners have been advised to take greater care over planting trees or risk potential subsidence problems. 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