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A Guide To The Laws Of Arboriculture & Tree Legislations

There are many different things to think about when discussing the role of the law in tree arborist or tree surgery work. All tree surgery services must adhere to many quite strict regulations.

overgrown garden

The following is a guide to the environmental policy that tree surgeons must adhere to, including details on what a Tree Preservation Order is and also facts about endangered animals that may affect the ability to perform tree surgery in certain areas.

There can be significant consequences to breaking these laws, including hefty fines. A businessman in Chester was recently fined £28,000 for felling a protected tree - so it’s clear to most that awareness of these things is important.

Protected Trees

Some trees and hedges are protected by legislations with a specific Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or because they stand in a conservation area. Carrying out work on these trees or hedges without first seeking permission from the local planning authority is illegal.

In order to check whether any of your trees or hedges are protected by law you should contact your local council who hold records of this. If your trees or hedges are protected and you wish to have work done to them then a planning application must be made.

It is highly advisable to seek advice from professional tree surgeons before submitting an application, as applications submitted with proper arboricultural reasoning are far more likely to be approved.

As part of our complete service, the Dave Ford Tree Care team will check whether an application is required and complete this application for you free of charge when you hire us to carry out any tree work.

For more advice on this or to book a free consultation please get in touch.

Neighbour's HedgeNeighbour’s Trees

If your neighbour’s trees are imposing on your garden, you have no legal right to force them to reduce the height or size of the trees. However, if parts of the tree are growing over the boundary to your property then you are allowed to have those parts pruned back (if the trees are protected then permission must be sought from the local planning authority first).

If the tree poses a risk to you or your property then there is usually something that can be done. In this situation, please contact us for specific advice.

Neighbour’s Hedges

As with trees, you cannot force your neighbour to have a hedge reduced in height or size, but you can have the hedge pruned back if it is growing across the boundary of your property (having sought any necessary permission from the local planning authority as required).

Evergreen hedges are also governed by the High Hedges Legislation in England, although it was also recently endorsed in Scotland. Under this legislation a complaint can be made to the local planning authority regarding hedge height. Please contact us for further details on this.


Bees Facts About Endangered Animals

Trees form part of our natural surroundings; as a result they can often be a habitat for wildlife. There are certain types of animals that are protected by law, meaning that if their natural habitat happens to be in an area where tree surgery work may disrupt it – there could be difficulties obtaining the appropriate permissions.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides legal protection for various animals, predominantly nesting birds. If you feel you may have some wildlife in an area you wish trees to be worked on, it is advisable to contact us for a free consultation before undertaking any work.


Keeping Within The Laws Of ArboricultureTree Work

The best way to make certain that you are within the relevant laws of arboriculture is to consult professional advice. At Dave Ford Tree Care we would be more than happy to help with any specialist tree surgery needs you might have, so contact us for any queries.

If you would like to know more about the various ins and outs of tree surgery then please feel free to check out the rest of our tree surgery advice guides for further information.