• Dax Hedges

The Rules On Trimming Encroaching Trees

On most of the occasions when a tree surgeon is called out by a landowner or householder, it is because there is a tree on their land that is causing a problem and needs expert attention.

This could be for several reasons: It could be because its roots are causing a problem, its branches are straying too far and becoming dangerous, or because it has a serious disease like ash dieback or Dutch elm disease and needs removing entirely.

However, sometimes the issue concerns someone else’s tree, which might be causing a problem by encroaching on your property. Before calling out the experts to deal with this, it is important to know the law and what you can and cannot do, as well as what your rights are.

It is important to note that in the first case, you should ask your neighbour to take action themselves to prevent encroachment. If they do not, you are allowed to cut back anything hanging over, but only as far as the fence or hedge line - you can break the law by crossing the boundary.

It is also important to note that if the encroaching tree is causing a danger, your first port of call should be your local council. This is also a wise move because it means if your neighbour is going to have an argument, better it is with the local authority than you.

A recent example of someone taking potentially unlawful action occurred this month in Lepton, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire Live reports.

Kirklees Council is investigating the apparently excessive cutting back of 200-year-old oak trees in Hermitage Park, part of the Duke of Dartmouth’s estate. Some of these were planted by the famous 18th century landscape artist Capability Brown.

The land has been earmarked for new housing as part of the council’s local plan, but the actions taken by workers on the site appear to have exceeded their permitted extent.

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