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Chestnut Trees

Q.There is a horse chestnut tree 2 metres from my bungalow. Both bungalow and tree are about 35 years old. I am worried about the roots.

Zone CH60 | Anonymous added on July 8, 2019 | Answered

The tree is in a neighbor’s garden. Do I have a right to ask for it’s removal?

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Answered on July 9, 2019

Your concern is legitimate, horse-chestnuts are large growing trees, and you certainly have a right to discuss it with the tree owner. But to ask for removal may be premature. I would suggest that before you make demands, have a friendly, neighborly conversation and ask for cooperation in determining if the tree roots are in fact presenting risk of property damage. A consulting arborist or construction/structural engineer could provide professional evaluation. They may dig down to expose roots and the home foundation to determine specifics of any intrusion. The potential for damage to the bungalow structure depends on the type of foundation and how substantial it is. If it's pier and beam construction and elevated flooring, then the roots may not be a problem at this time. If there are major lateral roots directed against or under a solid concrete foundation, it should be assessed for risk potential, and if any measures could be used to reduce the risk, like root pruning and root barrier installation.

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