Request to Remove Oak Tree

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Request to Remove Oak Tree

Post by OakGuardian » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:45 am

I have an Oak Tree at the bottom of my garden. It is over 100 years old and pre-dates all the surrounding properties. I recently received a letter from an Insurance acting on behalf of a neighbour. Attached was an Aborcultural report which recommended removal of the tree.

The Arborculturalist cited an engineers report that had been used to formulate his recommendation, but did not include that report. The report did not detail what engineering survey was carried out, what results were obtained, or even if more than a simple visual inspection took place.

There is another oak tree adjacent to mine, it is not as tall as mine, but still about 10M from the property.

I want to be a good neighbour, but I believe removal of the tree to be a bad idea. I have had a bad experience with tree removal. My next door neighbour removed and apple tree. For ten years prior to this all the fence posts on my fence were vertical and well aligned. With three years of the trees removal, the three posts adjacent to the tree were leaning into my garden, and the fence panels were twisted.

The direction of the rotation was consistent with the soil having expanded due to heave. The apple tree was quite small, but the effect was very noticeable. I am very concerned as to the ramifications of removing a mature Oak, given the clay soil in our area.

The questions that I have are:

1. Is there a check-list of items of proof which the insurance company must provide to demonstrate that the tree is responsible.
2. What evidence must be provided to demonstrate that removal of the tree is necessary and will be effective.

I have read numerous threads on this forum, but have never heard anyone defend trees in subsidence cases. This seems rather odd for the following reason.

1. Trees absorb more water during wet weather, reducing heave.
2. Trees take less water when it is dry.
3. Therefore trees actually act as a buffer, reducing the extremes of wet and dry, and over the long run reducing the stress of soil movement.

Posts often seem to downplay the possibility of heave on tree removal. Given that all the properties concerned were build on top of the tree's root system, is it not reasonable to argue:

1. The ground nearest the tree should be stable as the root system near the trunk has been mature for a long time.
2. The structures were build on land that was being moderated by the effect of the tree.

The tree was over 50 years old when the outbuilding that is the subject of the problem was built. So I find it hard to fathom how mature roots can drastically increase their water intake.

Comment welcomed:

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Re: Request to Remove Oak Tree

Post by FrTed » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:57 am

In think your first step would be to ask for a copy of the report.
"No Dougal, these cows are SMALL, those cows are FAR AWAY"

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Re: Request to Remove Oak Tree

Post by Mattylad » Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:36 am

You could consider contacting your local council and getting a TPO put on the tree.

However, research both the pros and cons of this first.

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Re: Request to Remove Oak Tree

Post by Geometer » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:14 pm

OakGuardian wrote: Attached was an Aborcultural report which recommended removal of the tree.
Why? What problem is the tree allegedly causing?

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