I want to cut down/prune a tree or hedge in my garden. Do I need permission?
Yes, if the tree:
- Is covered by a Tree Preservation Order
- Is within a designated Conservation Area
- Is within rented property - permission from the landlord
- Is within a property which is part of a relatively new development (up to 5 years) and may be covered by conditions on the original planning permission.
Is my tree or hedge subject to a Tree Preservation Order or Conservation Area?
My neighbour's trees encroach over my boundary. Can I cut them back?
Civil Law allows you to remove any overhanging branches back to the boundary line as long as you do not trespass on to your neighbour’s property. This can be done without gaining prior permission from the neighbour, but it is advised that you inform them.
The cut branches should be offered back to your neighbour but if they don't want them, it will be your responsibility to dispose of them. If a tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or within a Conservation Area, the Common Law right is removed and you will need to seek formal permission from the Council before undertaking work to living parts of the tree.
I am having problems with a tree in my neighbour's garden blocking light. What can I do?
Loss of light to the house or garden involves complex legal issues and there is no legal right to light. If you have concerns regarding a hedge or tree, ask your neighbour how they intend to maintain it. You may be able to cut the overhanging branches back to the boundary.
My neighbour has a very tall conifer hedge and will not reduce the height. What can I do?
Please refer to the Department of Local Government and Communities website where there is a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions on this subject.
I am worried about tree roots damaging my property. What should I do?
Tree roots may cause damage to small structures such as paving stones and walls through direct contact. Houses which are sited on shrinkable clay soils can be affected by the natural shrinkage of the soil leading to subsidence. If you have concerns, contact your house insurer.
I have trees on my property. How should I look after them?
Advice and information on all aspects of tree care and maintenance can be found at the Arboricultural Association website or by calling them on 01242 522 152.