Tree Related Subsidence

Trees can be implicated in building related subsidence claims, often with only partial or inconclusive evidence. Building subsidence is caused when underlying soil is subject to volumetric change i.e. shrinkable clay soils. Trees can play a part in this process with the extraction of moisture, however it is important that the extent of involvement is explored.

Trees can cause damage to structures in one of two ways:

  • Directly – where actual contact between the tree and the structure leads to damage occurring.

  • Indirectly – such as tree subsidence. Tree-related subsidence can occur when tree roots remove moisture from clay-based soils, which can subsequently shrink, through volumetric change. This can cause downward movement of structures leading to expensive repairs and possible underpinning.

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