help - large tree close to house (conifer??)


Advice please - what do you think about this massive tree really close to house, lhs of pic -  i'm wanting to buy the house but worried this might damage foundations, are roots on this tree large and evasive? would taking the tree down bring other problems, there are no cracks in the property, the drive outside has some lumps

Thanks for your help

Last edited: 15 February 2018 13:55:01


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,830

    I think you need the advice of a good surveyor.  


    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Freddies DadFreddies Dad I live near the Firth of Forth in ScotlandPosts: 179

    The tree frames the house, which is pleasant to eye. It is too tall for the garden however and needs to be reduced in height or removed. I would err on trimming back and reducing the height. A full structural survey  is needed before purchase. 

  • If you remove it or substantially reduced it you will have to consider clay heave/swell due to reduced water demand if you have cohesive / clay soils which may affect foundations. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,183

    The one on the left is a conifer and unlikely to cause much, if any, heave when removed.  However, do get a full survey done and then, if you go ahead, get a tree surgeon to remove it cos it's swamping the house and is not, IMHO, a good look..

    The Vendée, France
  • I can see why you are taken with this house Ben the aspect is lovely - but as stressed above - you need a full structural survey before committing to this property.

    I would want to view the house at different times of day as I imagine that the trees would cause a lot of shade in various rooms and if you have a few dull or wet days some rooms may not get any decent daylight at all.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 415

    Definitely get a full survey done and maybe the advice of a recommended tree surgeon as well (belt and braces, me image ). Seriously, it's such a big commitment you really need as much peace of mind as you can get.

  • I bought a house with a giant pine in the next garden. Was quoted £3k for felling and yes you need a surveyor's report or one from a chartered tree surgeon. There is a geology site online which tells you what type of soil there is in that area.

    A good tree surgeon can work wonders thinning it out, though I don't think they (conifers) like topping. Shade is an issue but thinning will help that. Also needle drop - mine has a monumental shedding Oct-Dec. I really hated it and wanted it gone but now I don't mind it. If you really love the house a tree shouldn't stand in the way (haha). On the bright side it's on your land, so you can control it.

  • As a geotechnical engineer I would advise not relying on internet soil information alone as it can vary greatly from the published maps. Conifers are medium to high water demand (hence why many plants struggle in their vicinity). 

    You will need to determine whether the soil is cohedive (clay) and if so the volume change potential from Atterberg Limit and moisture content testing. A structural engineer will then be able to calculate the potential heave. 

    That said if you are on sand then it's not and issue. 

  • glasgowdanglasgowdan Posts: 163

    Is it this one? I'd say it's grown well beyond it's place and should come down. How close to the house actually is it?


  • ben70ben70 Posts: 3

    Thanks everyone- I will be getting a structural survey, just wanted to try and understand how bad it may be, there’s actually 3 of them right next to each and the nearest is only 4ft from property, almost certain they will be drinking from the drain - they are twice the height of house :(

    ideally I would like to get the taken straight out so I can repair drain but wondered if this type of tree has big roots? And also likely heave problems this will cause 

    im Guessing the structule report will say to get a specialist, does anyone on here know of such a person near Hampton court area ? 

  • ben70ben70 Posts: 3

    Yes it’s that one in the pic and huge, as I just wrote there is actually 3 together and nearest is 4ft away from house 

    Last edited: 18 February 2018 09:50:42

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,183

    When we bought a house in Harrow on clay soil in '83 we found a "hedge" of conifers 30' high down the back garden.   First thing we did was strip off the lower branches to just above fence height then top them to fence height so we had posts to wriggle the roots free.  There was no heave in the path we revealed - gained about 10' of garden width - and the roots soon rotted down enough for us to remove.

    As yours are so close to the house you need a tree surgeon to remove them without damaging your house or the neighbour's.  They will have the necessary tools and insurance and should have qualifications too.  Get several quotes.

    The Vendée, France
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