Is this tree dangerous?

Is this tree dangerous?

Postby duckpond » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:53 am

Hi
A property I am considering buying has what looks like an old spruce tree growing approx. 4 metres from one wall (this is between 2 houses) and on the land of the house I am interested in, it is about 75' high.
It seems that when the neighbours built their extension, some of the roots on the neighbours side were cut off.(trying to upload phots)
The ground is chalk, flint and clay.(it appears that a lot of the remaining roots are just beneath the surface.
I am concerned that this tree could fall on the house I am interested in.
There is no subsidence present on the house at present, is it possible to have this tree removed without causing subsidence in the future?
Would it be possible to reduce the tree in stages over some years?
The 2 property surveys (mortgage people and homebuyers) that have been done, have not singled this tree out.
Do I need to get a specialist report on this tree to see what the options are? If so , what sort?
I am in Hampshire.
Any suggestions gratefully received, thank you.

p.s hopefully phots on the way
duckpond
 
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Re: Is this tree dangerous?

Postby duckpond » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:15 am

Here (hopefully) is a photo of cut roots
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Re: Is this tree dangerous?

Postby arsie » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:41 am

There are experts on here who may explain more correctly than I can but from what you say it does not sound the property you are interested in buying is in imminent danger. But if I were you I would check with the local council tree officer to see if there is a TP (tree preservation) order on the tree as it would constrain your freedom of action should you buy the property. To a lesser extent, being in a conservation area would too. Knowing that you are free to act if/when you take possession would be a sensible precaution to take in my opinion.

Again from what you are writing you seem to have the general idea of the possible problems and how to go about solving them. Removing a tree close to houses is a job for experts. Before you employ some, check carefully they have full insurance and I agree that you ought to find out about the extent of the current root system and what effect removing its demands for water might have on the ground nearby. Removing roots can lead to heave especially in clay ground as it regains water that the root system had been taking. Conifers in general are not the worst of species as regards roots causing subsidence or heave, the two main types of ground problems from trees that can effect houses. It sounds as if your situation is stable in that respect. I once saw the roots of a redwood tree and they were surprising shallow and not spreading a lot. I believe most conifers root systems are similar.

Bear in mind that unless you pay for a structural survey the surveys carried out so far are only to see if the property value is such as to protect the lenders' interests i.e. is their money safe and if they have to repossess the property will they get their money back in a poor market. There is lots more than this tree that could cost a lot to fix - roof, electrics, plumbing, damp, structural - and a thousand pounds or so might be money well spent, even if the result is to say the house is perfect in every way.

I see there is a picture now ...

edit: yes the hole/root looks shallow. Also the fence post hasn't been undermined and is still standing upright which is reassuring.
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Re: Is this tree dangerous?

Postby duckpond » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:53 am

This is not a protected tree, nor is it in a conservation area. So it seems I can do what is best for the tree, property and myself.
The fence and post were installed at the time the roots were cut.
Thank You
duckpond
 
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Re: Is this tree dangerous?

Postby Treeman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:28 pm

Based on the picture, which isn't a good basis for an opinion, that's a pretty substantial buttress root.

Such cuts, as well as compromising the stability are an access point for pathogens which can further compromise stability.

Based on the information provided I would get a contractor in to quote
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Re: Is this tree dangerous?

Postby duckpond » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:39 pm

Many thanks for your time and advice.
duckpond
 
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