In this guide, we cover:
- Whether or not you need permission to cut down a tree in your garden
- Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas
- What responsibilities you have as a homeowner
Do I need permission to cut down a tree in my garden?
If you own your home, you don’t need permission to cut down a tree that’s in your garden unless it is:
- Subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
- In a Conservation Area
If you rent your home, you will need to get your landlord’s permission before you can cut down a tree.
If you’re in doubt about the legalities of tree removal, you can always seek advice from your local council or relevant government department.
- Forestry Commission (England)
- Scottish Forestry
- Natural Resources Wales
- Northern Ireland Forest Service
Alternatively, you can organise a survey by an tree surgeon who will be able to advise you on your
responsibilities and options.
What is a tree survey?
A tree survey is an in-depth inspection of a tree (or trees) conducted by an arborist. Its purpose is to provide information about the trees so that you can make decisions regarding its maintenance or removal.
Tree surgeons use the British Standard BS5837 to assess trees. This standard provides recommendations relating to tree care. The survey provides information such as:
- Life expectancy
- Care and management recommendations
- Removal or retention
- General observations
Do I need a tree survey?
If you have home insurance, you may find that a tree survey is a condition of your policy.
More and more companies are requiring homeowners to organise regular inspections of their trees to qualify for protection. It’s worth checking your insurance policy to see if this is the case.
On top of insurance, there are circumstances in which a tree survey may be mandatory:
- If you are planning an extension
- If you are planning to construct new, ancillary buildings
- If there is a proposed change of access or the moving of service lines
- If there are trees within a proposed planning application site or on land adjacent to the application site that could influence or be affected by the development
- If you live in a specified region (to protect certain trees from being cut down)
Another use of a tree survey is simply to identify any hazards that might exist on a property. Diseased or dead trees can pose a real risk to health and safety, so it’s useful to understand the condition of any trees within your land.
A tree survey should only be conducted by a professional arborist.
To organise a tree survey, post a job now to get quotes.