Trees and footings


19 May 2017
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United Kingdom
Building inspector has turned down footings that have been dug as looked up in a book and said neighbour had a cherry tree 1.5 metres from my proposed extension.
A friend who knows his trees has said it is a plum tree and their roots are not as invasive as cherry tree roots.
Will it make a difference if I can get the building inspector to acknowledge a plum and not a cherry tree.
Architect didn't pick up on any trees when drawing my plans.
Between neighbour and myself a row of unruly trees/shrubs.

building inspector Asking for 2,5 meter footings - will these need a cage, he didnt say.

Would appreciate any thoughts. Its clay soil.
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We are in clay and had a couple of trees about 2.3mtrs away and had to go 1.7m down and use clayboard on the inside wall of the trench, stupidly deep for a single storey build.
whilst plums are marginally better than Cherry, the difference is pretty much insignificant. It's not about the roots it's about water uptake, causing ground shrinkage.
You don't say what other unruly trees and shrubs are near by. You have a lot at stake here as the cost difference between 1.7 m footings and 2.5m footings is huge. Footings at 2.5m should be engineer designed.
I would spend some money on getting the potential shrinkage of the of the soil tested and a proper assessment of the foundations required, rather than just using building controls, finger in the wind estimate, as I said the cost differences to you could be huge.
Just had a bit of a squint around the net and a plum is deemed to be a medium water demand tree, with a maximum mature height of 10m, depending on the shrinkage of your clay with the tree say at worst 1m away your foundations could fall between 1.5m for low shrinkage to around 2.2 for high shrinkage. if you push the distance away, out a little bit or can determine the tree is mature at a lesser height, then the depths start to reduce significantly. But bear in mind the other trees and shrubs you mention.
This may be of use to you if you want to work through it
Most fruit trees nowadays are put on rootstock that reduces their height. Have a look at the base of the plum tree, and see if there's a kink in it. This tells you that it's got a dwarf rootstock, and will never grow to it's full height. In addition, as you're going to be 1.5m from it, the neighbours got to prune it to stop it crashing into your place, so I think the BCO isn't taking enough factors into consideration.

How mature is the cherry tree, and as Chappers is right to the costs, how would you're neighbour feel about you buying him a new one to plant elsewhere.

But how come no one knows what the tree actually is. Hasn't it fruited whilst you've been there.
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Removal of a tree might not be the simple solution it seems. remaining roots can rot leaving voids which can lead to movement of the ground anyway.

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