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Trees & hedges: Frequently Asked Questions

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7. Tree roots damaging property

Tree roots causing damage to property

Just because a tree is growing in close proximity to a building does not mean that it will cause damage. Tree roots are often asymmetric and do not necessarily mirror the shape of the crown. In built up environments roots are often restricted by poor soils and infrastructure obstructions. Tree roots will not typically penetrate concrete and will usually grow around an obstruction.

Root damage to foundations is most likely where houses are built on shrinkable clay and where trees and vegetation affect the soils by removing moisture and causing movement. It should not be assumed that the tree has caused the damage; trees are often wrongly blamed for damage where foundations have not been installed to the correct standards. Houses that are built to modern building standards are very rarely affected by this kind of damage.

Tree roots very rarely break drainage / sewer pipes. However, if there is an existing crack in a pipe then trees are commonly found to exploit the available moisture within, which will often exacerbate the problem. We will not remove trees to prevent roots entering already damaged pipes.

If you believe that encroaching roots are causing damage to your property then you should consult your insurer for advice. We will not pay for unproven claims.