What are the laws surrounding trees on my property?

 

Trees and the Law

When you’re looking to plant, fell, or prune trees on your property, there is often legislation determining what you may or may not do. This could leave you wondering, “what are the laws surrounding trees on my property?” Many neighbourly disputes are regarding the wrongful felling or pruning of trees, with homeowners unsure of the laws when it comes to maintaining your own garden when surrounding trees encroach on your space.

To ensure you are always within the law, and to avoid any neighbourly disputes, we’ve outlined the main laws surrounding trees on your property as a guide for when you need tree services.

Who owns the tree? Can I cut trees down on my property?

A tree belongs to whoever’s land it has originally grown from, even if branches or roots have begun to encroach on a neighbours property.

Theft Act 1968

The Theft Act makes it a criminal offence to pick fruit, flowers or even branches from a tree that is not on your property. Of course, many homeowners will not have to worry about measures being taken to this extreme, but if you cut down a neighbour’s branches or take fruit/flowers from their trees, they are legally entitled to ask you to return them.

Planning Permission

Many trees are protected by tree preservation orders, which is an order made by local planning authorities to protect specific trees. If a tree is protected by a preservation order you may not to the following:

  • Cutting down
  • Topping
  • Lopping
  • Uprooting
  • Wilful damage or destruction

To do any of the above, you must obtain the local planning authority’s consent.

However, planning permission is not normally required to plant a hedge in your garden, and there are no laws regarding the height of your hedge. If you do have hedges in your property boundaries, you are responsible for ensuring your hedge is not a nuisance to anyone else.

Building regulations

There are not normally any building regulations applied to trees or hedges, however, foundation can be affected by tree roots and moist soil, so these factors should be considered when it comes to building new structures or planting trees.

Overhanging branches and tree roots

You are able to cut the branches of a neighbour’s tree back to the boundary point between your properties provided the tree is not under a preservation order. However, under the Theft Act mentioned above, if the tree’s owner requests you return the branches or foliage, you are obliged to do so.

You are also allowed to dig up and remove any roots that have begun to grown onto your land – a tree surgeon can help ensure this job is done properly and safely.

The Rights of Light Act 1959

Under this act, if your property has received daylight for the last 20 years, you are entitled to continue receiving that light. Therefore, if your property’s trees begin to block your neighbour’s light, or vice versa, you are able to apply to the courts to have your daylight restored by the trees being pruned.

Here at Artemis Tree Services we provide a wide range of tree services to Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas. We’ll arrange a free site visit from our professional tree surgeons to carry out an assessment at a convenient time and date to discuss your requirements.
For more information or to book your site visit, simply get in touch with our team today and we’ll be happy to help you.

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Jo

Just to say thank you for carrying out the work so professionally. The team were efficient, they took great care to ensure nothing got damaged, they were very friendly and informative and left the ar... Just to say thank you for carrying out the work so professionally. The team were efficient, they took great care to ensure nothing got damaged, they were very friendly and informative and left the area tidy. Work carried out: Removal of deadwood

3 weeks ago

Savas Sivetidis

Good service all round, polite and efficient....

4 weeks ago

Declan McManus

Efficient, tidy and courteous service - I have used Artemis on a number of occasions and cannot think of any reason to change....

2 months ago

Gaby

Excellent service with polite considerate operators...

2 months ago

Anonymous

very professional, knowledgeable company. where able to provide advice and options as to needed to be done. Clean, tidy and polite...

2 months ago

John

Very professional We have used them a few times and would not go anywhere else...

2 months ago

Francis Emmanuel

This was the second time we used the services of Artemis Tree Services. This time it was to fell and remove a mature sycamore. The team were excellent throughout - from initial enquiries, advice with ... This was the second time we used the services of Artemis Tree Services. This time it was to fell and remove a mature sycamore. The team were excellent throughout - from initial enquiries, advice with what was suitable, scheduling of the work, the tree work itself, the disposal of the felled tree and invoicing. Very pleasant, smart, tidy and courteous.

2 months ago

Pools Sritharan

Excellent service from the initial contact to completion. Professional ans polite at all times. Many thanks for this wonderful experience. Regards Pools Sritharan 18, The Avenue, Potters Bar.... Excellent service from the initial contact to completion. Professional ans polite at all times. Many thanks for this wonderful experience. Regards Pools Sritharan 18, The Avenue, Potters Bar.

3 months ago

Wendy Fry

Very pleased with work done to prune large sycamore tree. Detailed quote provided same day as Billy came to inspect and advise. All work was done promptly, safely with no mess whatsoever. Would defini... Very pleased with work done to prune large sycamore tree. Detailed quote provided same day as Billy came to inspect and advise. All work was done promptly, safely with no mess whatsoever. Would definitely recommend this firm. Very professional from start to finish.

3 months ago

Chris Pooley

If you require any tree work done I can certainly recommend Artemis. The estimator Billy was great to deal with professional and gave great advice. We required a Laurel and Holly tree to be reduced i... If you require any tree work done I can certainly recommend Artemis. The estimator Billy was great to deal with professional and gave great advice. We required a Laurel and Holly tree to be reduced in height and shaped and several leylandia trees at the back of the garden to be reduced in height and tidied up.A detailed quote was provided within 24 hours. On the day of the scheduled work the crew arrived on time and Tom and Charlie did a fantastic job very courteous and making sure everything was left nice and tidy. I would have no hesitation in contacting them for any future work required this is an extremely well run business.

3 months ago

Wendy Farrell

Great service from the get go. Surveyor was brilliant and took his time advising me on the best value for money for the job. The two guys in the day were fab! Not a leaf was left for me to tidy up. K... Great service from the get go. Surveyor was brilliant and took his time advising me on the best value for money for the job. The two guys in the day were fab! Not a leaf was left for me to tidy up. Kirstie Harvey in the office is a legend! Cannot recommend this company highly enough.

4 months ago

Kirk Teasdale

Delighted with the work carried out by what I can only describe as absolute gentlemen. They were prompt, courteous and considerate through out. Would definitely recommend.... Delighted with the work carried out by what I can only describe as absolute gentlemen. They were prompt, courteous and considerate through out. Would definitely recommend.

4 months ago

Mark Stafford

As a retired arborist myself I cannot give this company higher praise. Reasonable quote for the work and their climber was very proffessional and worked in a safe manner. Site was spotless when they l... As a retired arborist myself I cannot give this company higher praise. Reasonable quote for the work and their climber was very proffessional and worked in a safe manner. Site was spotless when they left. All in all a very pleasant experience.

4 months ago

Anonymous

Everything was great from start to finish I highly recommend Artemis. From the initial quotation to the reminders and then the text on the day to say they were on their way everything was perfect. T... Everything was great from start to finish I highly recommend Artemis. From the initial quotation to the reminders and then the text on the day to say they were on their way everything was perfect. The chaps onsite were great, very polite and incredibly tidy. I am very happy with the standard of work and would definitely recommend.

4 months ago

Nick Woolford

From the initial contact through to the finished work, everything has gone smoothly and professionally. The estimator came when he said he would, gave us meaningful and thoughtful suggestions. His d... From the initial contact through to the finished work, everything has gone smoothly and professionally. The estimator came when he said he would, gave us meaningful and thoughtful suggestions. His detailed estimate was produced within hours of his visit. Once we had accepted the estimate we received planned date for the work. On the day the workmen arrived when we were told they would. They were extremely co-operative, helpful and informative. The work procedure without a hitch with everything being competed to a high standard, and all the refuse removed, leaving the garden neat and tidy. We will have Artemis back later in the year to prune the fruit trees.

5 months ago

Anonymous

A fantastic service, at good reasonable prices with total clearace of the site upon completion. Couldn't ask for more....

6 months ago

Anonymous

Just had a tree removed in Ruislip Manor, the guys were done and dusted in just over an hour, I was expecting a mess that I'd have to clean up once they left. The guys ensured everything was spo... Just had a tree removed in Ruislip Manor, the guys were done and dusted in just over an hour, I was expecting a mess that I'd have to clean up once they left. The guys ensured everything was spotless when they left. We're all happy, but my Cat missing the tree!

6 months ago

Asarthan

Great job start to finish. All contact smooth and easy. The team listened to everything we wanted and pulled it off to perfection. Very neat and tidy too! Thank you very much!... Great job start to finish. All contact smooth and easy. The team listened to everything we wanted and pulled it off to perfection. Very neat and tidy too! Thank you very much!

6 months ago

Pete W

Another year of great service from start to finish - highly recommended...

6 months ago

Louise Leahy

Excellent service from the beginning, all lovely staff at every point and the work was carried out tidily and with consultation along the way. Very accommodating. Highly recommend and would use again.... Excellent service from the beginning, all lovely staff at every point and the work was carried out tidily and with consultation along the way. Very accommodating. Highly recommend and would use again.

6 months ago

Gordon Smith

I was impressed with your quotation service. The paperwork was excellent. The team arrived on time and carried out the job expertly and in accordance with our wishes. They were very professional and c... I was impressed with your quotation service. The paperwork was excellent. The team arrived on time and carried out the job expertly and in accordance with our wishes. They were very professional and communicated with us at all time. We were very impressed with the whole service from start to finish.

6 months ago