Can Removing a Tree Cause Foundation Problems?

Many homeowners plant or maintain trees in their gardens, but they don’t always realise the impact they can have on a property. If a tree grows too high, it can prevent light from entering your home, for example. However, planting a tree too close to a building can result in tree roots disrupting the foundations.

Removing larger trees from your garden might seem like the obvious solution but this, in itself, can cause a range of issues. Without proper planning and removal, you may even find that getting rid of a tree in your garden causes significant structural damage to the foundations of your home.

How Does Tree Removal Affect Foundations?

Tree roots absorb a lot of water and, when the roots are removed, the water remains in the soil. This extra water causes the soil to swell in size. This ‘uplift’ places extra pressure on the structure and can result in the soil seeming significantly higher than it once was. This is known as ‘ground heave’ and is a well-known problem, particularly when large or mature trees are removed.

If a tree is cut down or removed without the heave being accounted for, it could cause the foundations of the property to be displaced. If only part of the foundation is affected, cracks and even separation could occur too.

How Serious Are Foundation Problems?

Foundation issues may not be particularly uncommon, but they can be very serious. Extensive foundation problems can even lead to structural collapses, so it’s vital to ensure that any tree removal is handled appropriately.

How To Lay Foundations For An Extension

Although foundation issues, such as cracked walls or displacement, can be put right, this can be a costly process. What’s more – when the foundations of a property are damaged, this can lead to subsequent structural problems in other parts of the property. As a result, what begins as a foundation issue could quickly lead to cracked exterior walls or subsidence.

Removing Trees Without Causing Foundation Issues

Although removing a tree can cause foundation problems, this shouldn’t put you off redesigning your garden. Indeed, removing a tree can sometimes be the best way to protect a property. However, you should take ground heave into account when planning the removal and ensure that you have measures in place to protect the foundations and the structure. By seeking advice from experts and working with experienced contractors, you can ensure that trees can be removed from your land safely, without causing any unwanted issues.