Frequently Asked QuestionsSome common questions are answered below, if you require more information please do contact us
What types of tree protection are there?
How do I know if my trees are protected?
How can I get a Tree Preservation Order made on a tree that I think is at risk of being felled or damaged?
My neighbours are unhappy that a tree growing in my garden overhangs their property and say that they have the right to cut it back. Is this correct?
Will hammering a nail into a tree will kill or harm the tree?
Branches or roots from my neighbour’s tree are growing over my boundary. What can I do?
I would like to carry out work to trees on my property, do I need permission?
How can I find out if the trees within my ownership are protected?
Are there any times of year when tree works should not be undertaken?
Ideally tree works should not be undertaken during the spring time period, when the ‘sap is rising’ and during the autumn, when the tree is drawing nutrients back into itself from the leaves as they go brown.
During the spring time the tree is beginning to work its sap around its system to enable the leaves to flush (come out) and photosynthesis to begin once again. If works are undertaken in the spring then the tree will therefore be very vulnerable to pest and disease attack. If works are carried out in the autumn then the tree will not be able to get all the nutrients that it needs for the next spring and the tree will be put under unnecessary stress, increasing the likelihood of disease.
There are also other constraints to take into account when considering when to undertake work to your tree(s). Nesting birds are protected by law and a careful check should be made of the tree to ascertain if any nests are present. If nests are found work should be postponed until the nest is vacated (nesting period usually March – September) Bats also roost in trees and are protected by law. Great care should therefore be taken to ensure that they are not disturbed or harmed.
What should I do to make sure that Bats are not affected?
All British Bat species are protected by law and many bats roost in trees; although some bat species have adapted to living in buildings, trees still remain important throughout the year for most of our 16 species. Suitable trees are becoming fewer and further between as older and hollow trees, which provide holes to roost in and a feast of insect life (and even younger trees with suitable cavities) are removed.
Please remember to check with your arborist that they have checked the tree(s) for bats or roosts before work commences. If bats (or roosts) are thought to be present before, or during, work then works should be stopped and advice sort from Natural England or a competent ecologist to ensure you will be working within the law.
The presence of bats does not necessarily mean that tree work cannot proceed, but it does mean that the above procedures must be followed in order to ensure you are working within the law and minimise the risk of bats being killed or injured.
I have a tree which is outside my boundary and not under my control - whose responsibility is it?
If the tree is growing on Council owned or managed land then you should contact your local Council.
I am worried that my neighbour’s tree is dangerous. What should I do?
Should Ivy be removed from trees?
For many years, gardeners and arborists alike would, as a matter of common tree maintenance, clear ivy from trees in order to remove the competition for light, water and nutrients, as well as the potential threat of the ivy totally smothering the tree.
However, in the light of increasing knowledge and research into the relationship between the plant and its host, it is now not considered an instant threat to the tree, and is not necessary to remove it on a regular basis.
In certain circumstances (tree inspection, formal areas etc.) it is necessary to clear trees of ivy in order to carry out a detailed inspection of the condition of the tree, or to keep the appearance of the tree ‘tidy’.
However, in many instances where trees are in a less strictly managed area, especially where wildlife conservation is the main aim, ivy does not need to be removed.
Ivy is an attractive habitat for insects and invertebrates and consequently bird and animal life can benefit as a result of an increase in available food source. Bats, which are rare and protected by law regularly roost amongst ivy, as well as inside small cavities in suitable trees.
It would depend therefore on the main aims of the managers of the land in question as to whether the ivy is removed from the trees or it is left to provide a wildlife benefit.
I do not know who owns a tree, which is causing me concern – who do I contact?
Local Council’s do not hold records of land ownership, and therefore cannot advise on the ownership of trees, you should contact the Land Registry who hold details of land ownership.
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Proprieter: Tom Furlonger
Trading Address: Headley Heath Approach. Boxhill, Surrey, KT20 7LL