UKTC Archive

Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep

Subject: Re: Subsidence where foundations less than 300mm deep
From: Jon Heuch
Date: Sep 12 2020 07:59:21
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 Wayne With your vast experience I do not need to explain how the
wrestling-pit of an email forum works. If you have a thin skin you might
be best to stay on the side & out of sight. "I thought this was a forum
for collegial discussion of tree-related issues amongst tree
professionals." Well that's a reasonable description; at times a bun
fight breaks out and an umpire has to intervene & tell us to put a
naughty hat on; people come and go. Some of us have better things to do!
Some of might just want to bare our soul over the problems we face at
work to find out if it is just our own outlook on matters or whether
others share the same problems. I find it a very useful means of sharing
knowledge & experience & hope, in return, my inputs might be of use to
others, even if merely to show that there is a twisted, grumpy old man
out there needing counselling. Over quite a few posts you have not only
asked questions about building related damage caused by trees but
expressed doubts as to the role of the tree. Some of us have attempted to
point you in the right direction but it appears you take offence at being
offered a definitive book or paper to read. You possibly want it spelt
out in bite-size chunks? We have tried. Unfortunately, tree-related
subsidence is complex. Biddle's book, which does a pretty good job of
explaining matters is in two volumes probably has several hundred pages
with lots of diagrams. It's not possible to sum it up on uktc.
Furthermore, until you've seen the first case of domestic subsidence and
discovered what misery & mental distress it can cause you might be
inclined to dismiss the problem. Yes, in some cases the damage is small &
the tree is very important but in most cases it is much more balanced - a
tree is lost, there is some impact on the landscape but not
insurmountable, the property is repaired & life goes on. It's an issue
that has run, in my estimation, to almost 1,000,000 cases and thus a
similar number of properties (although some properties are repeat
offenders) over approaching 50 years. Perhaps you might want to read up
on the subject & come back better informed when you have done so. Whilst
SE England has its particular issues related to the age of our properties
and specifics of building design i.e. foundations and the fact that the
whole of SE England has significant areas of shrinkable clay (i.e. we
can't avoid it), tree related damage to houses is not restricted to here;
find the cases documented (easily accessed via Google) in Canada,
Australia, South Africa & the USA... I expect other countries have
similar problems, they just write about it in different languages ...& if
you want to be exotic read up on the black cotton soils in
India.....truly expansive. If houses in the UK had better foundations the
problem would not occur.....but that is a subject in its own right. We
just deal with the downstream issues.

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