The team were busy this month on a tree felling and clearance job at a site near Wallingford in South Oxfordshire. A large Oak, Ash, 4 Maples and a Cypress tree were all removed because a detailed arboricultural survey and soil tests showed that the trees had played a significant role in subsidence to adjacent properties.
Soil shrinkage leading to building subsidence is a major issue in the South East at the moment and recent dry summers have led to a big rise in the number of cases. Every week we are instructed to carry out tree removal for this reason, usually as part of an insurance claim by the property owner.
Clay soils shrink when they become desiccated and tree roots are very efficient at abstracting water from soil. Property that is built on a clay sub soil is potentially at risk and the consequences of subsidence can be very destructive. It is never a good day when we are required to remove mature and healthy trees but when they have been the major factor in subsidence to someone’s home or other valuable property there is no other easy option.
As there was a lot of timber and wood-chip to clear from the site we brought in our largest chipper and several trucks to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Our Avant loader is a great asset on these jobs, carrying brushwood and feeding the chipper as well as picking up and loading larger sections of timber.
When the work is finished and all the dust and debris finally tidied, we use glyphosate capsules to treat the stumps. This is important because we do not want these trees to regenerate and cause similar problems again in the future.
If you think you may have an issue with subsidence related to trees, we suggest that in the first instance you talk to your insurers. We can also put you in touch with a specialist arboricultural consultancy who can advise you more specifically on this issue.