• Chris Jackson

Trees and your Garden – Protect Yourself


As gardeners we would always say keep your trees where-ever possible. But there are a few reasons why you might want to have one cut down. Four Season Garden Maintenance would suggest that this is the last resort as removing a tree does have its implications on wildlife and sometimes people.


Reasons you might consider for removing a tree:

  • Root growth could be causing problems to nearby buildings

  • The trees structure is at risk due to disease

  • The tree has been damaged in some way and is unsafe

  • To reduce the mess from seeds and leaves

  • The roots are coming up through your paths and lawns

  • You would gain a lot more natural light

  • Your neighbours have asked you to do so

  • Your wanting to build an extension or other building

  • Purely for aesthetic reasons, its spoiling your garden

  • The roots are blocking your drains, compromising walls and outbuildings

Trees and the law

  • No, you cannot just chop down a tree without permission

  • It is illegal

  • You could be fined up to £20,000 per tree!

  • You need permission from your local council

  • Your tree may have a TPO (Tree Protection Order)

You find out from your local council, if you ring, they will check for you.

You can also look at the website, this is our local one for Bradford

https://www.bradford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/trees-and-tree-preservation-orders/trees-protected-by-tree-preservation-orders/

  • You can still apply to fell a tree if it has a TPO

  • It is free to find out if you have a TPO

  • There are currently no height restrictions on trees in Bradford

  • Your Common Law rights allow you to remove branches that cross over your boundary without the need to seek your neighbour's permission.

  • Notifying your neighbour of your intentions is always advisable.

  • You must not cross the boundary to do so unless your neighbour or the landowner gives you permission.

  • For example, leaning a ladder over the boundary to rest against the trunk of the tree could be classed as trespass.

  • You will have to get permission if the neighbours tree has a TPO even to prune your side.

  • You can ask the council to place a TPO on a tree to prevent felling

Any qualified gardener will not just hack down a tree on your say so. If they do not mention to you that they will have to check for a TPO be aware that they are probably not qualified to do the job for you.

Use a respectable company with all the right qualifications, approved for waste removal and insurance etc as removing a tree is a very big task. A reputable company will do all the necessary checks to make sure that legally you are both on the right side of the law.

You also need to know that they are an approved waste carrier, if your waste is fly-tipped whether you know about it or not you could be fined if it is traced back to your property. If your gardener does not mention this, ask them! Protect yourself and your property.


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