Birch tree roots battle for St Albans neighbour

The silver birch in Garrard Way, St Albans.

The silver birch in Garrard Way, St Albans. - Credit: Submitted

A St Albans woman is desperate for action to be taken to stop her house being damaged further by intrusive tree roots.

Astrid Morgan, 58, of Garrard Way, has raised concerns about a towering silver birch tree, estimated at being more than 20ft tall, which has its roots spreading out under neighbouring homes.

She first contacted St Albans district council about the situation more than a year ago but since then several tree surgeons have assessed the roots and said it is causing damage. 

She said: "I have had to redirect my drainage because the roots are in the way. I would say the roots are half as long as the height of the tree. 

"What frustrates me is that they have planted a cherry tree down the road with a sign saying 'please water me'. They plant trees but don't maintain them. 

"I want the tree cut down. I am quite happy to plant a bush to ensure privacy at the front of my house."

Despite making several requests to have SADC cut down the tree, to date no action has been taken and Astrid said she is being told that there is no problem with the roots.

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"We have reached a stalemate and I do not know what to do," she added.

Because the tree is located on the public highway, it is actually the responsibility of Herts county council rather than SADC, so the Herts Ad contacted that authority to find out what action could be taken.

A spokesperson for Herts county council replied: “We will be happy to inspect this tree and work with the homeowner to understand how the tree is affecting their property. It can take some time to gather the necessary technical reports and agree a course of action, but we will see if there is any safety work we need to carry out in the meantime.”