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    • sophiedophie
    • By sophiedophie 16th May 17, 10:28 PM
    • 30Posts
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    sophiedophie
    Conifer roots
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 10:28 PM
    Conifer roots 16th May 17 at 10:28 PM
    Hi all,

    Recently bought my first home and having my own garden is so exciting! We have made some changes to the garden already including putting one conifer in a corner. However, I am now wondering about how big it will get/if the roots will damage the house structure eventually.

    If I keep it trimmed to the height of the fence, will the roots still grow out?

    Would rather take it out now if it is going to cause me problems further down the road!

    Thanks
Page 1
    • I have spoken
    • By I have spoken 16th May 17, 10:58 PM
    • 4,963 Posts
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    I have spoken
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 10:58 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 10:58 PM
    Depends on what conifer you've bought. A Leylandii will shoot up, other's are very slow growing.

    Conifer roots are shallow, any damage is more likely to come from drying of the ground and causing subsidence rather than from the roots per se.
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 16th May 17, 11:32 PM
    • 2,576 Posts
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    glasgowdan
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 11:32 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 11:32 PM
    The roots won't bother the house.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 17th May 17, 2:43 AM
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    badmemory
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 2:43 AM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 2:43 AM
    Don't believe what they say about the height to which conifers grow. I had one which only grew to 5 feet. Well that is what was said. Top taken off several times, still well over 10 feet when I got the tree people in. I certainly wouldn't trust my conifer not to grow roots in bad places.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th May 17, 4:37 AM
    • 23,523 Posts
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    Davesnave
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 4:37 AM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 4:37 AM
    Planning is part of succesful gardening. Some people see attractive plants, buy them. and then dot them around the place without an overall plan of what they're hoping to achieve, or considering what the plant might look like in 5 years time.

    A conifer in a corner beside the house might become a nuisance for several reasons, but it would have to get quite large before it began to affect the footings of a modern building. That said, the time it takes before it becomes too large depends on what it is.

    A corner like that is typically sheltered and drier than the open garden, so putting a tree there will make it drier still and limit what else can be grown there. Conifers also don't have hardiness problems, so this one is currently occupying a space that might suit something you might want to grow that does.

    Just like altering the house itself, where there are work and cost savings from planning ahead, the garden too needs to be considered as a whole. You will still make mistakes, just like we all do, but they won't be as frequent or as time consuming to sort out.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • springdreams
    • By springdreams 17th May 17, 7:38 PM
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    springdreams
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 7:38 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 7:38 PM
    My insurance company said that the subsidence which has just cost over £20,000 to put right was caused by 2 conifers (one under 5 foot tall and the other around 8 foot). One conifer was in the corner between my property and my neighbour's & was in my neighbour's garden, and the other was a few feet in front of my front door in my own garden .... We live in a clay soil area. Both trees have now been removed.
    Smiles are as perfect a gift as hugs...
    ..one size fits all... and nobody minds if you give it back.
    Originally posted by squeaky
    ☆.。.:*・° Housework is so much easier without the clutter ☆.。.:*・°
    SPC No. 518
    • glasgowdan
    • By glasgowdan 17th May 17, 8:08 PM
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    glasgowdan
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 8:08 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 8:08 PM
    My insurance company said that the subsidence which has just cost over £20,000 to put right was caused by 2 conifers (one under 5 foot tall and the other around 8 foot). One conifer was in the corner between my property and my neighbour's & was in my neighbour's garden, and the other was a few feet in front of my front door in my own garden .... We live in a clay soil area. Both trees have now been removed.
    Originally posted by springdreams
    Brilliant! They need to pin it on something for some reason I suppose.
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 18th May 17, 10:58 AM
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    andrewf75
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 10:58 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 10:58 AM
    roots not so much a problem as blocking light and drying out the soil. I would think carefully about planting conifers, deciduous trees are generally much nicer
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 19th May 17, 9:25 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 9:25 PM
    • #9
    • 19th May 17, 9:25 PM
    Brilliant! They need to pin it on something for some reason I suppose.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    Well I'm hoping that those conifers were what they chose to "pin it on" - rather than being the actual cause iyswim - as I'm in a very similar situation.

    Reason being my awful next door neighbour has got a couple of conifers (yep...leylandii) planted in her garden and only a very short distance from my garden wall that is in between us.

    I keep wondering whether I should send her an official letter requesting removal or no - specifically to have a copy to keep for her insurance company if I have to claim against her for damage to my property ever (to prove that she does officially know about the hazard). Also, of course, in the hope that she might see sense (but I rather doubt she has any sense - as she has planted them very close to her own house).

    Another reason for me being very glad she is distinctly elderly - as I would imagine any prospective next owner of her house would be a good bit more sensible and get rid of them quick.

    It is a dilemma as to what to do for the best...
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th May 17, 7:35 AM
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    Davesnave
    Reason being my awful next door neighbour has got a couple of conifers (yep...leylandii) planted in her garden and only a very short distance from my garden wall that is in between us.

    I keep wondering whether I should send her an official letter requesting removal or no - specifically to have a copy to keep for her insurance company if I have to claim against her for damage to my property ...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    You can't request your neighour removes the tree, so it's pointless doing it.

    You can't even show there is any danger of damage by the tree without a report from someone qualified, saying it's causing, or likely to cause damage. Just because you think it might, doesn't mean it will. A report will cost you money, money.

    If the wall did fall down, it would be for the insurers to decide how to proceed, so again, you'd have little say in the matter.

    Sometimes, insurers have their own way of looking at things, which is why I was once overtaken by the car that I assumed had been scrapped, after someone wrote it off for me!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • karcher
    • By karcher 20th May 17, 7:47 AM
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    karcher

    Sometimes, insurers have their own way of looking at things, which is why I was once overtaken by the car that I assumed had been scrapped, after someone wrote it off for me!
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    I had to read that 4 times before I understood what you were saying
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th May 17, 8:03 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Perhaps I've been misinterpreting stuff I've read about neighbours trees damaging one's own property? - as it looked to me as if the insurance companies might decide I'd gone in for "contributory negligence" if I didnt warn her officially that her trees might damage my property at some point in the future. That was why I thought I might need to send her a letter (which she would doubtless ignore) in order to prove I had tried to prevent her trees doing that and thus putting 100% of the onus for damage caused by her on her insurance company and/or her personally iyswim.

    But I'm guessing, from what you say, that maybe I don't need to send a "cover myself" letter to her and could just do what seems logical to me if it comes to it and her trees do damage my property - ie get my insurance company to find out who her insurance company are and they would cover 100% of their bill and reclaim any part of it from her that they decided she personally was to pay - rather than expecting my own insurance company and/or myself to cover any of it or take her to small claims court for it?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 20-05-2017 at 8:07 AM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th May 17, 8:07 AM
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    Davesnave
    I had to read that 4 times before I understood what you were saying
    Originally posted by karcher
    Well, I had to look 4 times before I could believe what I was seeing!

    Then I had to follow the car for another 5 miles, before I could ask the driver how he was driving the car I'd been told was 'uneconomic' to repair.

    But this a long route away from conifer roots....
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 20th May 17, 8:21 AM
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    Davesnave
    Money, you may be thinking of Kane v Khan:

    https://www.rollits.com/news/articles/high-court-confirms-relevant-test-when-determining-liability-for-tree-root-damage.aspx

    I think this says that ignorance is no excuse on the part of the neighbour, but also, by implication, that correspondence you send them should carry weight and be provable. If you just send a letter yourself, they can say, "What letter?"
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 20th May 17, 8:36 AM
    • 950 Posts
    • 767 Thanks
    Apodemus
    Brilliant! They need to pin it on something for some reason I suppose.
    Originally posted by glasgowdan
    ...and if the trees had previously been removed, they would have blamed it on the clay soil now absorbing more water and swellling, causing damage to the foundations!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th May 17, 9:31 AM
    • 13,901 Posts
    • 37,815 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Money, you may be thinking of Kane v Khan:

    https://www.rollits.com/news/articles/high-court-confirms-relevant-test-when-determining-liability-for-tree-root-damage.aspx

    I think this says that ignorance is no excuse on the part of the neighbour, but also, by implication, that correspondence you send them should carry weight and be provable. If you just send a letter yourself, they can say, "What letter?"
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Thanks.

    I've read that article. It is that sort of thing I am thinking of.

    To me - that article says it's basically the guilty party's fault (ie Mrs Kane) that tree damage has occurred to the other house. But it is saying "It's contributory negligence that the innocent party didnt tell Mrs Kane that her trees needed trimming - and therefore they must cover 15% of the cost of damage".

    Obviously - I wouldnt intend to pay any of the cost of damage someone else had caused. That's why I'm wondering whether I need to send her a letter requesting removal of the trees - which she will ignore doubtless. But the copy I would have kept would prove I had tried to do what I could (ie requested their removal) and I would be in the clear for her having to cover 100% of the cost.

    I think the "reasonable person" test means that a normal person living in her house would be aware of the possible future damage - even if she personally isnt or doesnt believe me (which she wouldnt). Also I would say that a "reasonable person" test would cover me (as a private individual) sending her a letter - as I and other "reasonable people" would have cause to believe there might be future damage (ie I wouldnt need a specialist letter stating this - as any "reasonable person" standing in my garden could see the risk and wouldnt need to be an 'expert' to do so).

    Hence - the indecision/hoping the fact she is very elderly will cause the problem to be resolved without my having to do anything (ie new owner of that house with rather more sense than she has moves in and removes the trees even just from their own personal pov of protecting themselves).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 20-05-2017 at 9:34 AM.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 21st May 17, 7:04 AM
    • 23,523 Posts
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    Davesnave
    There are tens of thousands of leylandii planted alongside walls in this country, and I don't suppose many of their owners think for even a millisecond about it.

    I also don't think many of the walls fall down. There's been four or five leylandii living alongside a wall I built in 1980, shortly after they were planted, and so far as I know, the wall's still there.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • mysterymurdoch
    • By mysterymurdoch 21st May 17, 7:15 AM
    • 136 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    mysterymurdoch
    Money, you're missing the point. Your neighbours conifers aren't ever going to make your wall fall down! Stop thinking about it.
    • springdreams
    • By springdreams 26th May 17, 6:34 PM
    • 3,563 Posts
    • 31,365 Thanks
    springdreams
    Well I'm hoping that those conifers were what they chose to "pin it on" - rather than being the actual cause iyswim - as I'm in a very similar situation.

    Reason being my awful next door neighbour has got a couple of conifers (yep...leylandii) planted in her garden and only a very short distance from my garden wall that is in between us.

    I keep wondering whether I should send her an official letter requesting removal or no - specifically to have a copy to keep for her insurance company if I have to claim against her for damage to my property ever (to prove that she does officially know about the hazard). Also, of course, in the hope that she might see sense (but I rather doubt she has any sense - as she has planted them very close to her own house).

    Another reason for me being very glad she is distinctly elderly - as I would imagine any prospective next owner of her house would be a good bit more sensible and get rid of them quick.

    It is a dilemma as to what to do for the best...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    I had no claim whatsoever against my neighbour. My insurance paid the full cost barring the £1000 excess, which I had to pay.
    Smiles are as perfect a gift as hugs...
    ..one size fits all... and nobody minds if you give it back.
    Originally posted by squeaky
    ☆.。.:*・° Housework is so much easier without the clutter ☆.。.:*・°
    SPC No. 518
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