2 extremely Large trees near house and Home Insurance

Hi can someone advise me on what is best to do?

I live in a cul de sac, which is part of a larger street and our back garden backs onto several other back gardens.

I am extremely concerned about 2 large trees (evergreens) in another properties garden. They are extremely tall and wide.

I have tried speaking to the owner who can't remove them due to money/wont remove them/she said it would have to be free/charity work.

I have been in contact with my local Cllr, who has stated they are "huge" and that they are a height, light and danger issue. But they won't do anything about them as they are on private property. 

Due to the size, I am now going to put them on my home insurance, but they need to know height, distance from house, maintenance etc. Does every insurer need this? I don't know this details and the lady isn't the most friendly to speak to. 

Can anyone give advice on what I can do about the trees? Is there some route I can go down to get them removed. If they fall in any direction, they will take out a house and hurt someone. 

Can someone also advise on whether home insurers will accept my policy without the details listed above? 

Thank you


  • marcia_
    marcia_ Forumite Posts: 1,174
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    edited 4 September at 3:03PM
     Other than offering the owners to pay to remove them yourself, if they actually want them cut down, there's no other way to get them removed 
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Forumite Posts: 2,926
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    edited 4 September at 3:35PM
    Is there any reason why they should or could fall down, other than their height - which shouldn't be an issue in itself (I'm not aware that trees fall down just because they reach a certain height?)
    I'd certainly declare them when renewing my policy, making it clear they are not in your garden, and see what, if anything, they say.
    If they are of relatively imminent concern - creaking wildly, showing splits, dropping branches, stuff like that, then your insurers may wish to put the neighb on notice of the issue. I don't know if that is something they will entertain, but it's certainly something individuals can do; you are making someone 'evidentially' aware of a genuine issue, and that they 'could' be liable if they fail to address it.
  • FreeBear
    FreeBear Forumite Posts: 12,916
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    ThisIsWeird said: Is there any reason why they should or could fall down, other than their height - which shouldn't be an issue in itself (I'm not aware that trees fall down just because they reach a certain height?)
    Eeucalyptus can fall in high winds - I have had one blown down, and two others in the street ended up going the same way. Sequoia is another tree vulnerable to high winds due to it being shallow rooted. But how vulnerable depends on the soil type and depth.

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  • Ksw3
    Ksw3 Forumite Posts: 257
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    edited 5 September at 6:45AM
    Can you estimate how tall and how far they are? Not for insurance bit just for a sense check. Do you have pictures? Do they look healthy, any idea what type of tree? 

    We have large trees at the end of our garden (granted on council owned land) but as they are 30m away from the house (long garden!) our insurer wasn't interested. 

    ETA: As there are two evergreen trees, do they constitute a hedge and would the high hedges act apply? 
  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Forumite Posts: 1,957
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    OP, you need to look at whether they are further away from your property than they are tall. If they do fall and damage your property you would need to claim off your own insurance. 

    There's probably an easy way to work out the exact height, not sure what that is though. If you've got a sextant or inclinometer lying around you might be able to work it out using a bit of school trigonometry.  

    For a rough idea, you just need a stick that is the same length as your arm (or hold a stick at that length) A broomstick would do. If your arm is 60cm long, hold the broom so 60cm is above your hand. Hold the stick straight out in front of you  (full stretched arm) so your arm is parallel to the ground and the stick is pointing up at 90 degrees to the ground. Walk until the top of the stick and the top of the tree are in line from your point of view. The tree is as high as the distance from where you are stood to the bottom of the tree (roughly). 
  • BUFF
    BUFF Forumite Posts: 2,185
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    are they more than 15m from your building(s)? (This seems to be a figure that many companies use.)
  • twopenny
    twopenny Forumite Posts: 4,597
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    Are you taking out insurance on fences and garden?
    Are the trees likely to hit your property?
    There's a difference in what you get cover for. Are you worried that they will fall on your house or just that they may fall in your garden?

    I've had trees planted by the council that grew close and taller than my house. I didn't think of adding them to my insurance as I assumed that it would be the councils insurance that would be liable.
    I could be wrong. It's not unknown :)

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  • LJ93
    LJ93 Forumite Posts: 3
    First Post
    Hi, thanks all for the responses. I've had a look on google maps and measured the difference from the closest point of my garden to the tree and its approx. 11m from my house but if they did fall they would hit a house in any direction, If they fell in my direction, it would take out a fence, and probably some of my extension. With the trees, there is no hedge but it looks like there's several trunks to them, They do sway in the high winds which worries me. I've attached photos from 2 different views. They are higher than the houses surrounding them (they are 2 storey houses too).

  • NeverTooLate
    NeverTooLate Forumite Posts: 265
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    I thought it was the roots that insurers were concerned about in case they cause subsidence, rather than trees falling down?
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Forumite Posts: 6,299
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    LJ93 said:
    Can someone also advise on whether home insurers will accept my policy without the details listed above? 
    Under the rules of CIDRE you must answer all questions honestly and accuraretly to the best of your ability taking into account the question asked and any helper notes on the question, similarly agreeing to any assumptions. 

    Under the same legislation as a consumer you are under no obligation to offer up information that the insurer has not asked about. 

    Not all companies ask the same questions nor make the same assumptions, just deal with each one as presented. If they dont ask about tall trees you dont need to mention them, if they ask if there are trees over 3m tall within 5m of your property then answer yes or know as appropriate 
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