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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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Anonymous

Two jobs were scheduled. A fruit tree was pruned and shaped and I was very happy with the work. A second job was to shape a viburnum, work that Artemis has undertaken several times before. On this o... Two jobs were scheduled. A fruit tree was pruned and shaped and I was very happy with the work. A second job was to shape a viburnum, work that Artemis has undertaken several times before. On this occasion the usually first rate work from Artemis fell somewhat short. However, after much effort and reworking a reasonable outcome was reached. I will add though that the two staff members were very personable, which has always been the case on the occasions I have used your company. I will have no hesitation in continuing to use Artemis.

3 days ago

Terry J.

Outstanding work as usual from Artemis. Arrived on time and were very polite and friendly guys. Great attention to detail and everything was cleared up afterwards. We are always very pleased with the ... Outstanding work as usual from Artemis. Arrived on time and were very polite and friendly guys. Great attention to detail and everything was cleared up afterwards. We are always very pleased with the excellent service they provide.

5 days ago

Anonymous

Excellent service. Helpful advice at the quoting stage, efficient customer service and the work completed as promised by a professional team. Thoroughly recommended.... Excellent service. Helpful advice at the quoting stage, efficient customer service and the work completed as promised by a professional team. Thoroughly recommended.

1 week ago

Anonymous

Always a pleasure to deal with Artemis Trees from quotation through to the job being carried out. Knowledgeable, efficient and polite. Very professional.... Always a pleasure to deal with Artemis Trees from quotation through to the job being carried out. Knowledgeable, efficient and polite. Very professional.

1 week ago

Anonymous

Excellent service, from first contact, through the quoting and on to the final job. Everyone was very knowledgable and friendly and everyone arrived when promised and work was done as agreed without a... Excellent service, from first contact, through the quoting and on to the final job. Everyone was very knowledgable and friendly and everyone arrived when promised and work was done as agreed without any issues. Recommended.

1 week ago

Shaun Pennicott

very professional and promptness...

3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I was very pleased with the job they did especially how well they cleared up.They we’re very friendly and put me at my ease....

3 weeks ago

Anonymous

They were prompt, polite & thorough & knew exactly what to do. They did a good job....

4 weeks ago

RJ

We have used Artemis several times and they always provide a professional service and are very pleasant and efficient to deal with....

1 month ago

Caroline Bossowska

Friendly and polite service provided. Professional attention to tree shaping greatly appreciated. Thorough and considerate. Would highly recommend.... Friendly and polite service provided. Professional attention to tree shaping greatly appreciated. Thorough and considerate. Would highly recommend.

1 month ago

David "F"

Excelent service from start to finish.We had 23 conifer hedge trees removed and stumps ground out.It took a day & a half to complete by a team of 4,who were very professional and friendly. As we h... Excelent service from start to finish.We had 23 conifer hedge trees removed and stumps ground out.It took a day & a half to complete by a team of 4,who were very professional and friendly. As we have no side access they carried everything through the kitchen and hallway, without any damage whatsoever. I would not hesitate to recommend or use Artemis again.

1 month ago

Jeffrey Gibbins

To portray the location of this multitrunked conifer tree, it had been planted as an ornament in a rockery yet over the years it had grown to a very large ten trunk tree. It was situated sandwiched ti... To portray the location of this multitrunked conifer tree, it had been planted as an ornament in a rockery yet over the years it had grown to a very large ten trunk tree. It was situated sandwiched tightly between my garage that has a fragile and easily breakable roof, a summerhouse having a flimsy timber roof and the garden timber fence, both also easily damaged. The tree felling gang of two men very carefully cut down the tree trunk by trunk and lowered the cut lengths to ground level without any damage whatsoever to the surrounding obstacles. All the tradesmen who carried out two operations, were very pleasant to deal with and I have nothing but praise for the couple of teams Artemis sent to fell the large conifer and secondly to grind out the trunk to ground level, the guys were all very polite and professional, they were a pleasure to work with as I just made the tea and drinks and provide some beverages for them. I am more than pleased with the work they carefully carried out in my garden, thank you. Many thanks for all of Artemis Tree Services help, I shall have no hesitation to recommend your company for tree work as I may be asked in the future.

1 month ago

Anonymous

This is the second time we have used Artemis and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The three guys who came to our house were brilliant. Professional, friendly and most importantly did a ... This is the second time we have used Artemis and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The three guys who came to our house were brilliant. Professional, friendly and most importantly did a fantastic job. The price was realistic and value for the amount of work required….. Five star everything - thank you.

1 month ago

PaulH

This is the second time we've instructed Artemis Tree Services to work at our house. Their administration and attention to detail is excellent and their team on the day were very professional. W... This is the second time we've instructed Artemis Tree Services to work at our house. Their administration and attention to detail is excellent and their team on the day were very professional. Will definitely use them again.

1 month ago

Geeta Jethwa

We were very happy with Artemis . The job involved trimming of Leylandiii trees in the rear garden. We obtained a good quote for the work.Artemis attended prompty and work was done to our satisfacti... We were very happy with Artemis . The job involved trimming of Leylandiii trees in the rear garden. We obtained a good quote for the work.Artemis attended prompty and work was done to our satisfaction.Only issue was one of protecting our carpets, a wider covering would have been more Appropriate. We would recommend this company.

1 month ago

Anonymous

We've used Artemis before as was v happy with their service. Again, this 2nd job excellent service. Polite workers did the job in a clean and professional manner. Very happy thank you Artemis!... We've used Artemis before as was v happy with their service. Again, this 2nd job excellent service. Polite workers did the job in a clean and professional manner. Very happy thank you Artemis!

1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent service friendly staff and very good work. Highly recommend...

1 month ago

Roger Jones

Excellent service from Artemis from the initial contact to the completion of the work, The two people who actual did the tree work were both excellent. They were extremely professional, courteous and ... Excellent service from Artemis from the initial contact to the completion of the work, The two people who actual did the tree work were both excellent. They were extremely professional, courteous and helpful, They did an outstanding job and left the site very clean and tidy. Would unreservedly recommend this company.

1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent organisation, service and execution of the work. Friendly staff too - who left it all clean and tidy!...

1 month ago

Donald Mercado

Artemis we’re very good & professional at their job so pleased I had the job done Many thanks...

1 month ago

Anonymous

Brilliant service from guys who know their stuff. Everything cleaned up following a lot of hedge and tree crowning. Highly recommend this company....

2 months ago