realise that tree law and the many terms used within arboriculture
can be potentially awkward to navigate, so we've put together
a brief FAQ and useful links to help you understand your garden
and what's best for it.
My neighbour's tree overhangs my garden. Can I cut it back?
can cut back any part of a tree (including the roots) that crosses
the boundary to your property. The cut-off parts remain the
property of your neighbour, and you should offer them back before
disposing of them. You should check whether a tree has a Tree
Preservation Order (TPO) or is in a conservation area before
doing any work.
Who is responsible for a tree's condition and maintenance?
A: A tree
is the responsibility of the owner of the land that the tree
is situated on, regardless of who planted the tree. If property
is rented, the tree may be the responsibility of the landlord
or the tenant (depending on what's stated in the lease).
I'm concerned that a tree may cause damage. What can I do?
owner of a tree may be liable for any damage caused by it, particularly
if they planted the tree knowing that it could cause damage
or if they had been negligent. Write to the owner of the tree
(keep a copy of the letter) and ask them to have the tree checked
by an arboriculturist. If this is unsuccesful, it may be possible
to take further action via the local authority or a court injunction.
If the tree belongs to you, check that your insurance covers
any damage that the tree might cause and seek the advice of
Leaves falling from a tree are causing issues. Is anyone liable?
leaves are uncontrollable and fall seasonally, so the owner
is unlikely to be found responsible by law.
What effect does a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) have?
A: A TPO
is set by a local council to protect tree that have a positive
impact on the local environment. Your local council's permission
is required before undertaking any work on a tree or trees protected
by a TPO. If you are refused permission to work on a protected
tree, you can appeal the decision by contacting the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister within 28 days of the refusal. Failure
to comply with the conditions of a TPO can result in a fine
of up to £20,000.
There are birds nesting in a tree on my property. Can I still
work on the tree in question?
active bird nests are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside
Act 1981. As such, if any active nests are present in a tree,
all work on that tree should be postponed until the chicks have
grown and left. With this in mind, it is often better to consider
putting off some larger tree works (e.g. the reduction of a
long run of conifers) until after bird nesting season (Feb-Aug).
here to read Mansfield Disctrict Council's FAQ regarding trees
here for explanations of the many terms used on this site