This is not an exhaustive or a complete subject.  It is likely to change over time, with edits, additions and deletions, and is simply a collection of my thoughts based on many years of experience.   You should follow your instincts, not rely at all on any of this and you must always seek your own professional advice from a skilled, experienced and fully qualified tree surgeon before cutting down any trees.


It is not known precisely, but academic historians estimate that in the period approximately 30 BCE (roughly 2050 years ago) a Roman architect and military engineer that today we simply name as Vitruvius wrote a publication which translates to English as ‘On Architecture‘ and was published as the ‘Ten Books of Architecture‘.   The publication has been reprinted many times and in many languages globally and it is an essential text today for students of architecture and surveying.   Not only is it a rare document in its own right but it gives us an unprecedented insight into the knowledge of building construction that existed at that time.

Orientation of a building, the benefits of sunshine and natural ventilation, the essential requirement of a firm and stable foundation, access to water and so many other basic and fundamental factors were all known then and are still equally valid today.    There is much written in the Vitruvius publication that we can still learn from today.

Trees are part of most residential neighbourhoods but when they are allowed to grow without control they can be problematic in many ways.   Root growth can cause structural distress and can damage drains.  Leaf fall can be a constant and challenging clean-up job each Autumn.    I want to focus on the shading in this Blog post though.

Have a look at this example.   Here we see a house that is surrounded on all sides by tall trees.   As the sun moves around each day from East to West there is very little opportunity for the warmth to be felt by the house.  The consequence is that the house will be colder, darker and take longer to dry after rainfall.


In the following example, the mostly south-west facing rear garden (usually considered to be a positive selling point) is totally obstructed by mature tall trees.   The garden and patio as well as the roof and walls of the house are in shade all day.   This is not good for the building and greatly restricts the enjoyment of the garden and the house.   The solar panels on the roof will be redundant without sunlight.


We all love trees and our environment benefits from them.   There must be a balance, though when they are sited close to buildings.  The beauty they provide cannot take precedence over the potential harm that they cause.  Old buildings need sunshine and natural warmth.  Trees in close proximity are highly likely to cause moisture related building defects to be worse than they might otherwise be.

Unless trees and vegetation in close proximity are maintained, they will naturally start to take over, as can seen in this extreme example.

The above photo is from the internet – source and location is unknown



Disclaimer:   Anything posted in this Blog is for general information only and it is not in any way intended to provide any advice, legal or otherwise, on any general or specific matter that you can rely on.  You should always seek your own legal advice.