Garden AdviceHow Much Does It Cost to Plant a Tree?
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We can all agree that trees are beautiful and, more importantly, crucial for the survival of humankind. They must be looked after and nourished. Not surprisingly, the Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) in the United Kingdom protect specific trees, groups of trees, or woodlands in the interests of amenity. You can learn more about the TPO on the government’s website here.
Some trees, however, may pose a threat to your property and, in the worst cases, even your life. Below, we’ll review the possible dangers of having trees near your home, what are the safe distances of trees from houses in the UK and how to prevent and minimise damages caused by trees.
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Trees are generally not dangerous and in most cases won’t cause a problem. It’s an exception when trees are the reason for serious property damages or injuries. However, these exceptions should not be overlooked and neglected.
The most common damages that trees can cause are the following:
The reason behind these damages is subsidence. Put in simpler terms, this is the process of gradual sinking of the ground’s surface due to shrinkable clay soils. This usually happens after a long dry weather period during the summer months, especially July and August. It could easily cause cracks to appear on your property’s walls, floors or ceiling. Older and higher buildings are more vulnerable due to their relatively shallow foundations. The immediate proximity of the particular trouble making tree to the property is also a higher risk. Respectively, trees near houses pose a higher threat of damage. This is also the main reason many homeowners look for ways on how to kill the tree and save themselves future headaches.
Trees could cause issues with drains, particularly in the case of old and neglected ones. Tree roots may enter the drain and block it. In such cases, it’s best to replace the drain rather than cut the root of the trees, risking to damage it irreversibly. Tree stumps, unless dead, can also cause the same problem. If you plan to remove the stump to make room for a tree, check this post on how to kill a tree stump.
Maybe the least harmful damage is for branches to get to your roof or gutters. Most of these damages are easily repairable once identified.
So what are the safe distances of trees from houses and what are the least dangerous trees to plant or have near your home? There are some recommended safe distances of trees from buildings. You can review these and use them as guidelines, but it’s always best to check with an expert.
|Species||Normal Mature Height (M)||Safe Distance (M)|
|Apple / Pear||12||10|
|White Beam / Rowan||12||11|
As we previously mentioned, you should always carefully consider what trees you’re planting near your house. This will save you a lot of headaches afterwards from having to deal with the potential damages and insurance companies. In most cases, if planned correctly, there is no limit to the number, type, or size of trees to plant. It’s important to remember that most trees, no matter their size and proximity to houses and buildings, won’t cause a problem. It’s an exception to the rule that this will happen.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that you won’t need to take the necessary precautions, get advice from a professional tree surgeon, and plan the planting process carefully. On the contrary, this is of utmost importance in order to prevent or minimise damage, injuries, and any issues altogether. If you own a tree near a building or a street, we recommend that you hire a professional to estimate its safety every few years and issue an official report in case it’s needed.
Get in touch with an arborist today!
Trees are likely to become problematic in case of long dry weather periods. While subsidence is the main cause, there is also the issue with falling branches, so this is another thing you should consider.
Sometimes, local authorities and insurers can be extremely cautious, leaving us with only a few, if any, options for planting around our homes and in our cities. Trees, however, as we all know, are irreplaceable and immensely improve our living conditions. According to a report valuing London’s urban forest, “For a functioning urban forest there needs to be trees of all shapes and sizes and in the right proportions to ensure that benefits can continue to be delivered for future Londoners”.
This is essential, especially in the times we live in, when pollution is a pressing issue for any urbanised society. After all, trees produce the oxygen we breathe and absorb CO2 emissions, which are detrimental to our health and climate.
If you have any doubts about how safe a tree is, you should definitely call an expert and arrange a survey on site. The Fantastic tree surgeons can assist you with a variety of tree maintenance procedures in London and the UK, including branch pruning, crown shaping, and full tree removal in line with all safety regulations. Leave the tasks to the professionals and enjoy your chore-free life!
There are a few important things to remember when it comes to trees near houses in the UK:
Image source: shutterstock.com/Guas