Bigger trees specifically take liquid from the soil, causing the soil, and thus the ground beneath the house, to shrink. The roots can stretch out in search of moisture and there are some types of trees that are more likely to cause subsidence damage than others, due to the size to which they can grow and the way in which the root system is structured. These trees include willow, oak and elm trees.
If you have mature trees or bushes, consistent pruning will help to prevent subsidence damage - you will need to seek advice from a professional such as an arborist to establish how individual trees should be correctly pruned. The root structure of trees or some large shrubs can cause intrusion of earthenware pipes, paving the way for failure of the drainage system.
In some properties, it can be necessary to construct a tree root barrier below ground level. This usually consists of a reinforced concrete wall which resists the root penetration and is particularly useful where Tree Preservation Orders exist.