It is recognised that well positioned trees around a property, as well as providing amenity, add significantly to its value. However, in certain soil conditions, badly positioned or poorly maintained trees can increase the risk of soil shrinkage leading to structural damage to the property due to subsidence.

Dry weather and media interest have led to an element of panic about trees near properties and many harmless trees have been felled as a precaution by home owners due to the lack of, or poor tree advice.



Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants offers specialist technical expertise where trees (or other woody vegetation) have been implicated in subsidence damage to property.  Our consultants work independently, or as part of a team of specialists, to systematically explore all avenues to identify the actual problem.  The investigation process can be complex and wide ranging and may include: desk based research; elimination of other factors; interpretation of crack and level monitoring data; field data capture; soil analysis; root starch testing; DNA lab testing.


It is becoming increasingly common for homebuyers to be required to provide tree reports by insurance companies or mortgage lenders. The reports in general terms following instruction are completed within 48hours.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants provides Homebuyers Mortgage and Insurance Reports in accordance with the Arboricultural Mortgage and Insurers Users Group (AMIUG) for which we are member of.  This is widely recognised as best practice and accepted by all mortgage lenders and insurers.

Reports are produced in a standard format and cover risks to the structural integrity of a property from tree/vegetation, related subsidence and tree failure. Our reports provide the following information:

  • Tree survey details including species, height, spread, diameter, distance from structure
  • Tree condition
  • Recommended tree work operations
  • Further recommendations detailed investigation of soil type

This approach is generally cost effective as it ensures that the purchaser is providing their lender with the correct information, therefore avoiding excessive spending where it is unnecessary. Similarly, a brief assessment can be instrumental in identifying where future risk may be beyond reasonable limits and therefore allowing the purchaser an opportunity to withdraw or negotiate.

All of our reports for mortgage purpose are prepared and delivered electronically within 24 – 48 hours of formal instruction.


Trees can be implicated in building related subsidence claims very often with partial or inconclusive evidence.  Building subsidence is caused when underlying soil is subject to volumetric change i.e. shrinkable clay soils.  Trees can play a part in this process with the extraction of moisture, however it is important that the extent of involvement is explored.

Trees can cause damage to structures in one of two ways:

1 Directly – where actual contact between the tree and the structure leads to damage occurring.

2 Indirectly – such as tree subsidence. Tree-related subsidence can occur when tree roots remove moisture from clay-based soils, which can subsequently shrink, through volumetric change and causing downward movement of structures leading to expensive repairs, possible underpinning.

Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants is a dedicated team of professionals who consistently deliver proven successes through education & a solid foundation of knowledge & experience.


“Wharton Tree & Ecology Consultants provide reliable, cost effective & thorough arboricultural & ecological advice in facilitating & informing the design of development proposals” CN Planning



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