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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5/ 5

Verified customer feedback

5 rating based on

616 reviews

Excellent

Paul

I thought the Artemis team were absolutely brilliant. From coming to quote , prompt , and cutting back 2 oak trees they did a highly Professional and excellent job.... I thought the Artemis team were absolutely brilliant. From coming to quote , prompt , and cutting back 2 oak trees they did a highly Professional and excellent job.

2 days ago

Jill, Pinner

Efficient, thorough. Listened to what we wanted and carried out expertly. All v neat and tidy. Good job all round....

1 week ago

J M

Thank you Artemis for your excellent tree surgery work as part of ongoing maintenance over many years. The garden poses problems, but as ever the team were cheerful, efficient and everything was carri... Thank you Artemis for your excellent tree surgery work as part of ongoing maintenance over many years. The garden poses problems, but as ever the team were cheerful, efficient and everything was carried out exactly as planned. I shall continue to recommend Artemis.

2 weeks ago

Green hill housing

we have had work done with them and they do a wonderful job, from start to finish everything was perfect again, not a leaf leaf left behind, workmen were polite and professional.... we have had work done with them and they do a wonderful job, from start to finish everything was perfect again, not a leaf leaf left behind, workmen were polite and professional.

2 weeks ago

Jan

Artemis took down two lime trees who's roots had damaged the garage floor and were an inch away from the foundations of the house . The trees were in a very awkward place to get to but this didn't see... Artemis took down two lime trees who's roots had damaged the garage floor and were an inch away from the foundations of the house . The trees were in a very awkward place to get to but this didn't seem to trouble this highly competent team. The team were extremely well equipped , and they worked together like a well oiled machine. We were delighted with their work, tidiness and very pleasant manner. And it was at a fair price.

1 month ago

David Pooley

Excellent value, great work on a terrible day...good lads!...

1 month ago

Diana Stuckey

Excellent service with experienced people who did an excellent job of pruning my tree. Would definitely use them again....

2 months ago

Jonathan

Martin and Luke arrived on time They were polite and did the job to my total satisfaction and cleared up Took the time they said it would when they arrived Well done!... Martin and Luke arrived on time They were polite and did the job to my total satisfaction and cleared up Took the time they said it would when they arrived Well done!

2 months ago

Phil

Very professional job. The man in charge was excellent. Did the job exactly as we wanted it. Would highly recommend....

3 months ago

Anonymous

I have used Artemis a number of times and always feel confident that they offer an excellent service all the way through from the first visit to the final clearing up. They are knowledgeable, profess... I have used Artemis a number of times and always feel confident that they offer an excellent service all the way through from the first visit to the final clearing up. They are knowledgeable, professional and friendly. They do great job and I would highly recommend.

3 months ago

Anonymous

Friendly staff. Work carried out efficiently. Left the area clean and tidy. Would definitely recommend Artemis....

3 months ago

Chris

Artemis are very efficient, knowledgeable, professional and easy to deal with....

4 months ago

David

This was the first time we have used Artemis, and the whole process from initial enquiry through to completion was very easy. We would definitely recommend their services, and will be using them again... This was the first time we have used Artemis, and the whole process from initial enquiry through to completion was very easy. We would definitely recommend their services, and will be using them again I'm sure.

4 months ago

Natasha

Fantastic service from your team at Artemis. We needed a tree in our garden heavily crowned, having let it grow far too tall. We couldn’t be happier with the work done; the team were so professional, ... Fantastic service from your team at Artemis. We needed a tree in our garden heavily crowned, having let it grow far too tall. We couldn’t be happier with the work done; the team were so professional, really lovely and left our garden tidier than it was before they arrived. We won’t hesitate to recommend Artemis to anyone needing tree work done

5 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service from first quote to final job. Very good communications and reminders so I knew exactly when they were arriving. Polite and hard working team who cleared up perfectly. Would definite... Excellent service from first quote to final job. Very good communications and reminders so I knew exactly when they were arriving. Polite and hard working team who cleared up perfectly. Would definitely recommend.

5 months ago

Ajay Lal

Efficient and effective service. On site team were polite and ensured the site was left clean and tidy....

5 months ago

Anonymous

From approval for the pruning to tidying up after they left, the team has been impeccably professional, pleasant and kind....

5 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service. Punctual and extremely professional manner in which they carry out their work. Really happy with the work done . Would definitely use the company again.... Excellent service. Punctual and extremely professional manner in which they carry out their work. Really happy with the work done . Would definitely use the company again.

5 months ago

Terry

We have been using Artemis Tree Services for many years now and have just had our annual tree and shrub maintenance visit. Wonderful job as usual. The garden now looks great thanks to a very hard work... We have been using Artemis Tree Services for many years now and have just had our annual tree and shrub maintenance visit. Wonderful job as usual. The garden now looks great thanks to a very hard working and knowledgable team. Thanks again, see you next year.

6 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service from start to finish. Clear quotes, no jargon, prompt responses to queries and arrived on time. A large tree was expertly removed and recycled. The very professional and pleasant tea... Excellent service from start to finish. Clear quotes, no jargon, prompt responses to queries and arrived on time. A large tree was expertly removed and recycled. The very professional and pleasant team even removed the leaves from the lawn. Thoroughly recommend! Very reasonable pricing also. No hidden extras.

6 months ago

David Lynn

The team arrived on time, carried out all the requested work and left our garden neat and tidy. The tree work was as planned , we are very pleased and would recommend the company with no hesitation.... The team arrived on time, carried out all the requested work and left our garden neat and tidy. The tree work was as planned , we are very pleased and would recommend the company with no hesitation.

7 months ago