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Can I cut my tree down? what laws are involved, if any?

(10 Posts)
questions2008 Sat 11-Oct-08 12:01:33

I had the gardener round cleaning the back garden out and he's trimmed and cut down overgrown bushes etc. my (nosey) neighbour said to him he couldn't cut a little tree we have on the side of the garden down, its two branches form most of the tree and are stretching out across the lawn. It is 8ft high and we don't live in a protected area. I don't know anything about the laws surrounding trees and cutting them down so wanted to know if there were any? would i indeed be breaking the law if i cut the tree down or if i shortened the branches?

Shitehawk Sat 11-Oct-08 12:04:22

You would only be breaking the law in cutting the tree down if it has a Tree Preservation Order on it.

Did your neighbour say why he thought you couldn't cut it down?

questions2008 Sat 11-Oct-08 12:26:04

nope, i think she just wanted to be difficult, she's like that. so i don't have to contact the tree officer of local council to get permission or anything?

questions2008 Sun 12-Oct-08 20:22:17


WigWamBam Sun 12-Oct-08 20:24:49

If you want to check whether there is a TPO on the tree, the council will be able to tell you. If there is no TPO, you don't have to get permission from anyone. It might be worth you calling to check, just so that you can tell your neighbour that there is no TPO.

What sort of tree is it? If it's a bog-standard tree in a bog-standard garden, it's unlikely to have a TPO.

NotAnOtter Sun 12-Oct-08 20:25:51

W live in a conservation area and cannot touch ours

CuppaTeaJanice Sun 12-Oct-08 20:27:23

I think it has something to do with the girth of the trunk - bigger than a certain number of inches and you have to get permission.

WigWamBam Sun 12-Oct-08 20:34:07

We had one taken down recently and the tree surgeon said that it's based on whether it's in a conservation area or is an old/important tree or not, rather than it's size.

Course, he could have been talking out of his arse ... grin

spookycharlotte121 Mon 13-Oct-08 12:04:56

Tpos are put in place to protect a tree because of its age, species, specimin, size and so on. So you may have a bog standard tree but it could still have a TPO on it because it is old. Your best bet is to get in touch with your local council and find out if this is the case because if you touch it without permission then you could be fined upto £50,000. If it does have a TPO on it then you can still apply to have it cut down. You have to have a valid reason for this ie its causing damage to your house or is taking light away from your living space. There are also pit falls in TPO's, if the tree is a danger, dying or diseases then you can cut it down. You would have to take evidential photographs though to prove this and I think you still have to apply for permission to cut it down or it might be that you can do the work and just inform them afterwards... im not 100% sure on that one. If the tree only lies in a conservation are then you are supposed to inform the council 6-8 weeks before the planned work is due to take place, this way if they feel the need to place a TPO on the tree they have time to do so. I think you should also be aware that your neighbour can kick up quite a fuss and try and have a tpo placed on the tree. It might be a good idea to speak to her and see if there is some compromise your could come to so that she doesnt feel her privacy has been invaded. Best thing to do is to A. find a reputable tree surgeon who may actually do the leg work for you and sort out all the paperwork regarding TPO's or B. go to your local council and find out what the status of the tree is. HTH.

scrambledhead Mon 13-Oct-08 20:29:03

We had a bad experience with the council. We rang them and they said "no TPOs at that address". So we pruned 2 and chopped one down. Then a few years later when we were selling the house the survey showed that all 3 had TPOs ... angry I so wish I'd got it in writing from the council.

We were told that there was a max fine of £2500 per tree (pruning / removing without advice). So my advice is get it in writing!!!

Luckily we had a happy ending - man from council came out and approved of what we'd done. PHEW

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