The Problem of Heave

sst240– what can happen when substantial trees are removed*

Most of us are aware of the environmental value of trees but are we also aware of the significance of what they do to the soil around their roots?

Tree roots extend a substantial distances from the trunk of the tree. The diameter of the root spread can be equivalent to the height of the tree crown.

The roots draw water from the soil. Large trees can draw thousands of litres per year. Long established trees have been doing this all their lives. The removal of such trees can lead to HEAVE in the surrounding soil when water is no longer being removed, especially where the soil contains a lot of clay.

GROUND HEAVE can cause structural damage to nearby properties.

*An article on page 11 of the March/April 2017 issue of the RICS
Building Surveying Journal contains the following sentence:

“If a tree is not there to take up the water, then the ground
expands and will start to push against a building, which is
referred to as ground heave.”

Will Streets Ahead/Amey/SCC be accepting liability for any structural problems caused by heave or subsidence following the removal of street trees which are close to properties?


Thanks to Theresa Green (@TheresaGreen77) for the Save Sheffield Street Trees image.

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