Trees and construction

Development near trees

Construction close to trees

Trees are easily damaged by construction works, regardless of their scale. Digging a garden pond may cause damage to trees in the same way as building demolition and construction.

It is important to ensure that trees are adequately assessed before ANY work takes place.

This is a complex topic. The specialists who can help you are:

Trees near buildings and people

The proximity of trees to buildings can cause nuisance and inconvenience – for example through direct building damage, heavy shade or falling debris. Trees in adjacent property overhanging boundaries or blocking light are frequently a cause of annoyance or inconvenience, and there may be remedies available to alleviate this. For further advice contact a competent Arboricultural Consultant or a competent Arboricultural Contractor.

As a tree owner you have a legal duty of care to do what is reasonable to prevent harm being caused to others by your trees.

If located close to people or objects of value, the risks posed by the trees should be assessed by a competent Arboricultural Consultant. The frequency and level of this assessment will vary from location to location and tree to tree. On occasion, remedial work or tree removal might be required.

Building subsidence and heave

Occasionally trees can cause subsidence or heave damage to structures. If you notice cracks to your building, the first thing you should do is contact your building insurers who will investigate.

If agents for your neighbour’s house ask you to carry out work to your trees because of alleged damage the trees have caused, you should advise your own building insurers and if necessary instruct a competent Arboricultural Consultant and possibly a Structural Engineer to assess the situation.

Subsidence and heave require a multi-disciplinary approach, involving a range of professionals. The following professionals should be able to help you:

  • A competent Arboricultural Consultant or AA Registered Consultant
  • A competent Structural Engineer
  • A competent Geotechnical Expert
  • Your Buildings Insurance Company

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Arboricultural Association
The Malthouse, Stroud Green, Standish, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 3DL

Arboricultural Association Ltd. A company registered in England at The Malthouse, Stroud Green, Standish, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 3DL, UK. Company number 4070377.
+44 (0)1242 522152 | admin@trees.org.uk

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