Trees that aren’t yours
Do you have a tree problem ?
Some trees are lovely, but some aren’t so nice, some trees are well maintained and some are not – so what can you do with a tree and what can’t you do.
These are the rules:
You can remove branches from trees or hedges that overhang your property, but only back to the line of the boundary.
You cannot remove any overhanging branches of any tree with a tree preservation order on it without planning permission – and the fines are hefty if you breach preservation orders.
Any removed branches belong to your neighbours, so ask what they want doing with them.
If you are removing large branches be extremely cautious, use a specialist tree surgeon.
Removing large branches can destabalise trees (which is not good), it can also stress the tree so much it begins to die off and so can become unsafe (which is not good) and less well known is that you can alter the ground water levels, which can lead to cracks in masonry for example (which is also not good). Better to check first, than try to resolve expensive problems later.
If tall hedges are the problem, then there is a parliamentary act, the High Hedges Act, also known as the Lleylandii Law. This only applies to evergreen hedges or trees in a hedge (so no single trees are included), but if the hedge adversely affects your reasonable enjoyment of your property, you can apply to the local council to have the height reduced. The Council can then issue a notice to the owners of the hedge to reduce it in height. This Act only applies to hedges over 2m in height that affects domestic property. If you need further clarification then contact your local council offices.
Lastly, it is worth noting that if you have a large tree on your premises, you are liable for any damage the tree or bits of it cause, so it is sensible to use a tree surgeon to check on the structural integrity of the tree.