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Verulam

The strength and stability of trees Mankind has, from prehistoric times, learnt to make use of the remarkable properties of timber for structural purposes, and we now know how to carry this to a high degree of sophistication. But how precise are we able to be about the strength and stability of standing timber in relation to the danger it may represent to adjoining buildings? A senior member of our Institution has asked this question in the course of discussions pursued with some of our staff at headquarters: Your columns have already included a number of contributions on trees. However, these have been mainly to do with foundations and either settlement caused by extraction of water from the ground or damage caused by roots in close proximity to buildings. No particular attention seems to be given to the strength or stability of trees themselves. Verulam