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Do you consider Sycamore trees in a small(ish) garden inappropriate.

I have two Sycamores, some 60 feet tall and just 7 feet apart. They are only 30 feet from my house and the branches almost reach the house.
They have presrvation orders on them and the Local Council will not allow me to remove one tree.

I would welcome your opinion on Sycamores in general





Oh, poor you. You haven't said exactly how big your garden is, but in most gardens, these trees get too big, aren't that attractive (in my opinion) and have a nasty habit of dropping their seeds by the million, most of which are quite happy to root in the surrounding soil.

Sounds like the Council is being intractable on this matter - is there any chance you can negotiate with them, say offering to plant alternative trees, further apart, which do not get so large?

In the matter of the distance from your house, sycamores should be a minimum of 60 feet away when FIRST planted, but as these have obviously been growing there for over 20 years and there's been no subsidence to your property, the Council will most likely consider they are not a risk to your foundations.

26 Jan, 2014


When we first moved into our house there was a preservation order on a large mature sweet chestnut tree on the corner of our drive. The council would not allow us to have it removed but after some negotiation (and a lot of form filling) they allowed us to have it pruned by 25%. Might be worth approaching the council again to see if they would allow you to have the trees pruned.

26 Jan, 2014


Hi,welcome to GoY, first of all, I can't understand any council wanting to slap a preservation order on a Sycamore, they grow like weeds, so they're not in short supply, or an endangered species, have the3 council actually told you this, or is it word of mouth from neighbours?, if the latter, check with the council, and if for some reason they have, try negotiating with them, you have nothing to lose, and plenty to gain, Derek.

26 Jan, 2014


In my opinion, sycamores should only be planted in parks or woodland areas. Definately not for urban gardens. They are a nuisance to neighbours as surrounding gardens are plunged into shade, not to mention the seeds which root everywhere. I read somewhere that mature sycamores and similar trees suck 1000 litres or gallons (can't remember which) of moisture from the soil, a day. That is very worrying regarding house foundations!! Subsidence will be inevevitable.

26 Jan, 2014


Many years ago I had a Sycamore in my garden. When I dug the foundations for my conservatory I noticed the tips of roots from it and got a tree surgeon out. He told me that it was protected, but if it was threatening property it could be removed. He did all the necessary arrangements with the local council and removed it. The biggest difference it made was the extra light I got as my rear garden is South facing.

My next door neighbour on the other hand just went ahead and removed his without permission shortly after I did. This was about 15 years ago and when I recently mentioned the Sycamore tree he used to have that his kids played on he said, What tree? I never had a tree in my garden. LOL.

26 Jan, 2014


No they are totallyu unsuitable for small gardens.

Oh dear, we have a lot on our boundary and mostly much nearer the house than 30 feet. They are all along the top of a boundary bank down the edge of the property and are obviously self sown. We have removed a half dead one (felt a bit bad about that as it had lots of woodpecker hoes in the dead bit) and another that was shading the conservatory but it is very expensive to have them cut down and not the sort of thing ordinary people can afford to do all that often. When we run out of firewood we'll think about which is the next one on the list, but it will be a problem because it is only a few feet from both our house and next door's garage and will have to come down a bit at a time.

The largest mature one is very beautiful in winter when the leaves are gone and I wouldn't like to lose that one.

26 Jan, 2014


Can't understand why these have tpo's on them - they don't look to be particularly notable specimens that "add to the amenity of the area".
It might be worth checking with your council when and why the tpo's were invested in these trees and point out your concern of 60ft trees only 30ft from the house. Simple geometry says that if they come down in a storm they will probably land on your roof.

26 Jan, 2014


Some Councils (ours anyway) have preservation orders on almost all trees, calling us a Conservation area. If there is a serious reason for wanting one felled, we have to argue our case. They usually send a handful of 'experts' round to look at the problem, and have allowed us to prune by a third very large trees, but not take them out entirely.

You are certainly unlucky Pbennett, as I'd have thought you have a very good case for at least cutting yours hard back.

29 Jan, 2014


Conservation Areas have different regulations. On the assumption that this is a TPO based on the amenity of the tree, rather than it being a tree in a conservation area, you could argue that removing them would make way for something more suited to an urban garden (use the tree replacement clause).
Don't bother going down the subsidence route - you'll get no where with it unless your house is virtually falling down.
Check out the government website or - bound to be something on one of them - and talk to your planning officer. Don't automatically assume that they won't be sympathetic if you can offer an alternative.

29 Jan, 2014


When we removed a building in the garden, it was written in to the planning permission that we should plant three forest trees. No other tree in the garden was to be vandalised or pruned without consulting the county arborist. Those were the words used. I was so angry I phone and made an appointment for him to view my "trees". He asked how many we had I told him 170. He asked what size the garden is. I told him just over one third of an acre. He laughed and said as it was a nice day he would come down straight away. Most of the trees were self sown seedlings over 6' tall and the mature trees far too big for the garden. He said I could remove anything I deemed inappropriate for a residential property and anything where we were disturbing the roots thicker than one inch. I ignored the planning permission and planted appropriate trees. He was sympathetic to my plight and was of the opinion that planners should have no place in deciding on keeping trees. If you can find out if you have a county arborist or can get an estimate from a qualified tree surgeon you should be able to replace the trees. If all else fails go to your MP and demand your human right to enjoy your garden.

31 Jan, 2014


Pb . . . 2 trees I ordered arrived today, and with them a little note about 'safe planting distances'. "A rough guide put together by The figures given in the table are the maximum distances at which any damage was ever recorded. They represent extreme examples that are statistically unlikely."

e.g. Sycamore, height 24 m. distance from house 17m.
Elm, height 25m. distance from house 30m.
Ash, height 23m. distance from house 21m.

We wish you luck.

31 Jan, 2014

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