Townhouse neighbors have trees next to my house wall

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by Emboon, 14th May, 2020.

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  1. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to ask if this is going to be a problem for the concrete slab foundation. Recently moved to a townhouse and found that there are trees sitting next to my wall. On windy days like today, I could hear the tree scratching my walls too. (Sound is not so much a problem but just emphasizing how close it is to the wall)

    Is there anything I should do about this or more importantly is it gonna cause problems in the future? I read that it could damage foundation.

    Trees height are around 3m-4m

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    Not sure if its clear in the photos, the trees are really close, the tree trunks are like 0.5m-1m to the wall of the house and foundation. As you can see some of the branches are permanently resting on the wall.

    That part of the wall is my garage and bedrooms upstairs.
    I can see there are some hairline cracks in the garage floor concrete and the corners of ceiling in the bedrooms. Not sure though if it is just normal settling as the house is around 10yrs old.

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    This is NSW and it is a strata complex with each unit having its own private yard and the private yards boundary is the other units house wall. I have confirmed as well that the current tenants are renting.

    Apologies for the long post and thanks to anyone who can share some thoughts.
     
  2. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    If trees were there when the townhouse was designed the slab usually would have been designed to suit and/or tree root barrrier installed.

    This looks like a lemon, mandarin, orange or Cumquat tree/shrub. It could easily have been planted afterwards. In my experience, Citrus trees aren’t that large so unlikely to be an issue.

    Just trim the branches on your side back a bit to stop the scratching noise.
     
    Last edited: 14th May, 2020
  3. Noobieboy

    Noobieboy Well-Known Member

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    These look like fruit / Citrus trees. They usually are fairly small and are unlikely to have an extensive root system capable of doing a significant damage to the slab.

    Fire hazard and pests are probably the two things I would be concerned about. I’d trim the branches that are protruding into my plot.
     
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  4. The Y-man

    The Y-man Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd take the fruit..... :eek:

    The Y-man
     
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  5. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    Yes it seems that they are planted afterwards because I can observe that other townhouses doesn't have trees planted next to walls.

    I'm afraid I can't trim the ones that scratch my walls since I have no access. The wall is literally the boundary on my end and it doesnt have a window facing their yard so only way to trim is to get into their yard.

    I can tolerate the noise so its fine. Just worried it might cost me $$$ in the future if foundation gets damaged. I also believe we have clay soil.
     
  6. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    I would love to trim it but due to the setup, my wall is basically the boundary to their private yard. I have no access to the trees other than thru their unit.

    Basically each townhouse is freestanding and has their own yard. The boundary of each units yard is the wall of the other neighboring units house. Hope that makes sense.

    So branches are technically not protruding my lot, but more leaning on my walls.

    I get the fire hazard but what kind of pests problem can happen if you dont mind sharing?
     
  7. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    If only it is planted next to my fence (which means I have access) but sadly it is literally on my wall. Each townhouse is freestanding so the way its set up is one side of the house' wall is the boundary to the nextdoor's yard. This way they have privacy on their yard.
     
  8. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    If the noise on the wall is bothering you, I suggest you offer nicely to trim it a bit from their yard or ask if they could.
     
  9. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Joynz. Its not really bothering me as it only happens on very windy days so all good.
    Just worried about damage if left alone but seems citrus doesnt get very invasive roots so might be good on that end.

    Appreciate it.
     
  10. Noobieboy

    Noobieboy Well-Known Member

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    Rats, mice and possums love branches that touch roofs and walls. Good climbing opportunity to get into these sweet building cavities....
     
  11. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    It’s only a problem if you have holes in the walls or roof.

    Also, as I discovered trying to protect my apricot tree from possums - they can jump gaps.
     
  12. Emboon

    Emboon Well-Known Member

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    Afaik, there's no hole in that side of my wall and the tree is lower than my roof so unless they climb the wall to the roof then it might be safe.

    Just curious Joynz, how were you trying to protect your apricot tree? And how did you find they can jump gaps if you dont mind sharing
     
  13. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    I had a huge old apricot tree in the backyard. About a metre away was a bungalow. The tree was being decimated by possums.

    I put smooth plastic around the trunk to stop them climbing up.

    But they were running up the bungalow and leaping from that to the tree. Soon most of the leaves were gone except for small tufts at the end of branches.

    I build a ‘possum barrier’ fence on top of the bungalow roof - vertical laserlite panels (approx 1m high) on a frame attached to 300mm gal angle brackets. The possums just jumped over it!

    I glued house wrap spikes on top to discourage running along it - they still got over it...
     
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  14. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    Would you speak with your strata manager?
    If it is scratching the wall they might want to know about it?
    I hope this helps
     
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  15. Noobieboy

    Noobieboy Well-Known Member

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    Super possums!
     
  16. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Yep.

    I even spent $300 on a Birdguard machine that is also supposed to help with possums (emits a loud noise at intervals).

    The tree is gone now. Partly age and I also think it may have been weakened by the lack of leaves.

    It developed an orange fungus that sprouted from the bark. Borers got into the trunk. I chopped it down in the end.
     
  17. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    So in a nutshell you helped kill a habitat for native animals through progressive effort. All because it was a healthy fruit tree and they ate the fruit. You didnt think to remove the fruit ?

    My mate has several citrus trees and the parrots drove him nuts. A helpful ranger said - remove the fruit when it sprouts and take it away. Has never had a problem since. They land, check the trees and fly off. No squacking or screeching either.
     
  18. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to go with guava on the tree in the first picture.