​​Cutting Down Trees

What is the law against cutting trees?

The law against cutting trees in the UK is actually quite complex. The protection of timber has been an issue for centuries, and many laws have been passed to protect forests from being taken away by humans. It can be difficult to tell what is illegal and what is not, but we will go through some of the most important questions and parts of the tree legislation acts

If you’re thinking about cutting down a tree, we have the answers to your questions. Whether it’s safety precautions or preservation laws that are getting in the way of making decisions on what course is best for your property and trees, our guide has information available from expert sources so no one will reach for their chainsaw before they get all necessary facts correct beforehand.

Do I need permission to cut down a tree or remove branches on my property in the UK?

If you own your home, one does not need permission to cut down a tree that is solely in your garden, unless it has been designated as needing preservation through the Tree Preservation Order or Conservation Area. If you are renting a house and cutting down trees on the rented property grounds, then you must first obtain permission from your landlord before undertaking any work of felling. One can always ask neighbours for help with branches which overhang onto neighbouring gardens/property but they are still owned by the owner of the land where the trunk resides so it’s the owners responsibility if anything goes wrong, such as an unexpected direction in which branch falls upon neighbour’s garage, shed or outbuilding for example.

Tree Felling Licence

Where a tree must be felled outside of a private garden, you may need to obtain permission from the relevant government department. If this applies and the trees amount to 5 cubic metres in total volume, it is usually an offence without their consent first. Licences for thinning woodland will most likely come with certain conditions on replanting or maintaining them afterwards for a set timescale. For just thinning woodlands, this will not have a restocking condition attached to the licence. They will make enquiries to see if permission needs to be granted from your local authority. Also please consider the impact this could cause to the surrounding wildlife. Felling and removing trees while the breeding season is in full swing could be stressful for the birds and indeed other wildlife, so make sure that you take this into account and proceed during the winter months.

Is there a legal height for Neighbours trees?

Are you looking for some advice on what to do about the height of your neighbour’s trees? There are a few things that you can do. The first thing is to talk with them about it. They may not even realise that they have high tree branches and be more than happy to take care of the problem. If they don’t know, then ask them how tall their trees were when they bought the house or moved in. You could also check your local by-laws for information on legal height limits for trees, as this varies depending on where you live and local council rules and regulations.

What can I do if my Neighbours trees are too high and they are ignoring my complaints?

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your neighbours, then contact local authorities as they may be able to help. There is also a possibility that cutting down or trimming the trees might not solve the problem and in this case it would be advisable to consult with a qualified arborist for advice on how best to deal with high tree branches on neighbouring property. You can contact our local tree surgeons at Nottingham Tree Surgery and Arborist Service anytime for a FREE consultation and expert friendly advice for a way forward.

What do you do with dead ash trees?

A lifeless oak or ash can make for an eyesore on any property, so most people would want them removed quickly at all costs-including safety concerns such as unstable limbs. This means having professional tree surgeons handle this job from start to finish. Cutting down branch by branch (known as sectional dismantling) until removing the whole tree without damaging anyone or nearby property when they fall over during the disposal process (due largely to the tree’s overall weight and size) The average residential homeowner or business will not have the the right equipment to safely remove these large ash and oak trees. Also if the trees to be felled are dead, they will be brittle with loose bark and could collapse at any time, adding to the danger. This is why they should always be removed by specialist tree surgeons and Arborists.

Is it illegal to cut down trees when birds are nesting?

The bird nesting season is an important time for birds to find a safe place to raise young. Nesting occurs March 1st through July 31 and during this time the surrounding vegetation such as trees and hedges should be left untouched in order not disturb these fragile environments. Although it may seem impractical, there are exceptions that allow work on trees and hedges if done with care so as not to harm any nests or eggs residing nearby. Always keep safety at the top of your mind when running projects near wildlife habitats. To ensure the safety of nesting birds, before any work is carried out in this season a thorough visual survey needs to be completed. In most cases it will have been determined that there are no nesting birds present or if they are then as long as what you’re doing doesn’t disrupt their nest near your worksite everything should go smoothly and without incident. It’s not just about protecting them but also ensuring we protect ourselves by following these guidelines so everyone can coexist peacefully with minimal disturbance for both parties involved.The courts have been clear that the responsibility lies with both contractor and client to be aware of laws protecting nesting birds. For example, if you disturb a bird’s nest they may go ahead and delay work until all nests are empty, but this rule is not limited to just certain species of birds, all wild birds, as well as any eggs found in an unoccupied nest, will be protected from disturbance under these rules. This means it becomes your duty also, so make sure before beginning construction on your property that there isn’t anything laid by terns or swallows.

Cutting back my neighbours Trees that are encroaching my property?

If you have a neighbour who’s tree is overhanging onto your property, cutting back the branches can be as easy as talking to them. If they’re happy with it then all that needs doing is trimming away any leaves and debris on their side of the fence or hedge.

The law actually states that any tree branches cut off belong to the person whose land the tree first grew, so good practice id to ask your neighbour if they want them back, or if they don’t mind if you go ahead and dispose of them during the process.

When you’re trimming your hedge, don’t just throw the trimmings back over the boundary. This could constitute ‘fly tipping’. Ask your neighbour whether they would like any trimmings back before throwing them away or leaving them by their garden gate for someone else to pick up later.

Also this applies to fruit on trees, even if the fruit on branches which is overhanging onto your property, still by law belongs to your neighbour. So You are indeed stealing if you pick the fruits for yourself without your good neighbours’ permission. 

Call Nottingham Tree Surgery and Arborist Services
For a FREE consultation and Free Quotation