A well-kept garden can add thousands of pounds to a home’s asking price, according to studies. Some types of trees and plants, however, can cause damage to the property, so buyers should be careful.

There are many factors that could affect a property’s structural integrity, and Carpenter Surveyors has extensive knowledge of all of them. Listed below are the kinds of plants that could cause problems for potential house buyers. 



Trees planted close to your home can have an impact on your property. Your home’s foundation can become unstable when roots penetrate it. Weak and compromised foundations can cause cracks in walls, sloping floors, and stuck doors.

In particular, oaks, willows, and poplars are notorious for causing issues. It is possible for a tree’s roots to spread as far as two and a half times its height and penetrate deep into the ground, causing your foundations to shift.

Generally, damage to your property will not be caused by trees and plants growing close to the foundations unless they are very close to the property, and most trees planted close to buildings will not pose a problem.

Most of the time, damage is caused by soil types like shrinkable clay soils, which shrink when water is removed by tree roots. As a result, the drying and shrinking process is accelerated, which causes subsidence.

Your survey from Carpenter Surveyors will highlight defects, potential damage, and what action to take next.




Among the top invasive species in the world, Japanese knotweed is the most common in Britain. Growing over 2 metres high, the plant is very destructive and spreads rapidly. There are a number of problems associated with Japanese knotweed, including damage to drains, pipes, foundations, walls, patios, paths, drives, boundary walls, outbuildings, and conservatories.

Japanese knotweed is also difficult to eradicate. There are lengthy and extensive treatments that can take up to 3 years to eliminate, and even then regrowth is possible, since it can lie dormant for 20 years. In order to remove Japanese knotweed, there are a variety of treatment options available, including chemical treatment, relocation, reduced dig, herbicidal treatment, in situ capping, on-site burial, excavation, and removal.

Treatments must be performed by an accredited specialist, and the plant and soil contaminated with knotweed must also be treated and disposed of by a contractor. Lenders have different policies regarding Japanese knotweed, and some may even withdraw their offer on properties containing the plant. To ensure you are purchasing a property that meets all of your needs, it is essential to have a survey conducted before purchasing it.

Japanese Knotweed



Building surveys will also note climbing plants such as ivy and wisteria. For example, common ivy can lift roof tiles, pull guttering from walls, intrude into mortar joints, and even crack masonry. Damp walls can also be caused by the presence of climbers.




It is your surveyor’s responsibility to inspect your garden for toxic plants that may pose a health risk or even be lethal. These plants include foxgloves, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and laburnums, all of which are poisonous if eaten.

An invasive plant such as giant hogweed may cause severe skin burns and, similarly, euphorbia can irritate the skin. Depending on the type of plant, your surveyor will be able to advise you on the best method of removal.




In addition to performing a visual inspection of the garden, the surveyor will assess retaining walls, boundary walls, patios, gates, fences and pathways. Any maintenance or repair requirements will also be noted for any outbuildings such as summerhouses and substantial greenhouses.




When surveying your property, your RICS Chartered Surveyor from Carpenter Surveyors will inspect trees and roots, Japanese knotweed, climbers, toxic plants, and can outline other issues caused by plants that you will want to consider.

It is important that you book a survey today to assess the existing damage and potential threats posed by trees and plants on your property. We’ll help you to make the right decision, and enjoy your garden for years to come.