Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Postby RedChestnut11 » Thu May 14, 2015 3:58 pm

Last year, the council owned housing association who manage the property next door to us, removed a large number of trees from the property’s back garden to make it easier to maintain for the next tenant. They also replaced the fencing along the border and replaced the rotting wooden fence posts with concrete ones. They dug deep to accommodate the concrete posts and had a team of workers hacking at the ground to try and break up roots and make the garden more manageable. The garden had been neglected for around 20 years.

One of the trees they removed was a large ash. On our side of the border we also had 2 healthy large ash trees (35 foot) and a 12 foot high laurel hedge. Almost immediately after the work was completed, one of our ash trees (the smaller one) died. As it was Autumn, we decided to see if it came back this year. To our disappointment, the larger ash tree had also died together with a large expanse of our laurel hedge in this same area. We do not know why but are wondering whether roots have been damaged during the excavation work next door or whether they have put something in the soil to rot the roots.

Quite apart from the upset that the loss of our trees has caused, we will now have to pay out to have both trees removed, having only paid a tree surgeon the year before to cut them back.. Two questions – how easy/difficult would it be to prove what caused the death of our ash trees and laurel hedge and secondly, if it was due to the work carried out by the council, would they be liable in any way and if so, to what extent? Any advice much appreciated.
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Re: Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Postby mr sheen » Thu May 14, 2015 4:13 pm

Even if the work next door did damage the roots, this would mean they had the right to remove them since they were encroaching onto their land and whilst they should try to avoid damaging neighbouring trees it is well nigh impossible to prove that their actions did it. You could consult a tree expert who you might get to speculate that damage to the roots was LIKELY to have been the cause of their demise but it is doubtful an expert would stick his neck out and say it definitely was and therefore it leaves another expert to say that something else could have caused it....all of which is likely to cost you since the council will use their own 'experts'. A definitive post mortem on a tree is unlikely to be available.

That said you could always make a complaint to the council and take your chances.
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Re: Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Postby Roblewis » Tue May 19, 2015 11:49 am

Do not forget that Ash has been susceptible to sudden death for the last few years and recent nearby excavation has been associated with some of these.
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Re: Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Postby arborlad » Tue May 19, 2015 1:58 pm

RedChestnut11 wrote: We do not know why but are wondering whether roots have been damaged during the excavation work next door or whether they have put something in the soil to rot the roots.



There's no product I know of that would have that effect, additionally, if the garden is now planted and growing that would indicate that nothing was placed in the soil.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: Dead trees and hedge after excavation work next door

Postby RDF Jess » Fri May 29, 2015 12:51 pm

Hi, my name is Jess and I’m a Researcher at RDF Television.

I’m currently working on a new documentary for ITV exploring a variety of issues people can face in their garden and or around their home including boundary disputes, nuisances next door, infestations, pests and weeds, sinkholes, erosion and flooding.

It would be great to have a chat with you and tell you more about the programme.

If you’re interested in finding out more please call Jess on 0207 013 4076.
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