Frequently Asked Questions
- I want to cut down/prune a tree in my garden, do I need permission?
- How do I find out about Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas?
- How do I get a Tree Preservation Order made?
- My neighbour is cutting down/pruning a tree in his garden, has he permission?
- On a nearby building site, the builders are felling/pruning trees, is this permitted?
- I have a tree that is protected and I want to do some work to it, how do I get permission, who can give me some advice, and can you recommend someone to do it?
- There is a tree in our street with a (broken branch/trunk),(branch obstructs path/drive), can someone do something about it?
- I am having problems with a tree in my neighbours garden, overhanging branches/blocking light, what can I do?
- My neighbour has Leylandii (cypress conifer) trees along our boundary and he/she will not reduce their height, what can I do?
- I think the tree(s) in my garden/neighbours garden, is causing subsidence/cracks to my house wall(s), what should I do?
- I am interested in planting a tree - can you offer any advice?
- I believe you can get the Council to make your neighbour cut down their overhigh hedges that cause me nuisance?
- If someone is working on protected trees without permission what can be done?
Yes, if the tree:
- Is covered by a Tree Preservation Order - permission from the Council - See contact details below.
- Is within a designated Conservation Area - permission from the Council - See contact details below.
- The property is rented - permission from the landlord
- Within a property which is part of a relatively new development (up to 5 years) and maybe covered by conditions on the original planning permission.
Permission is now obtained by submitting a Application Form. Please remember to sign the Application as not doing so will make the Application void.
This is a legal procedure decided and implemented by the Council Tree Officers. Contact them using the details above.
He would need written permission with respect to the first answer. If it does not come under any protection cover, then no permission is required, unless :-
- The tree is on a joint boundary or the workmen require access to adjoining property to carry out the job, then the permission of the other party is required with respect to civil law.
- The tree is so large and mature that the work, particularly felling, poses potential dangers to property and land and therefore would require clearance and guidance under Health and Safety Regulations.
The development should have planning permission and the issue of trees, their retention, felling, pruning, and replacement, are part of the deliberation process. Planning permission overrides legal protection of trees. To check contact the Development Control Planner for the area.
I have a tree that is protected and I want to do some work to it, how do I get permission, who can give me some advice, and can you recommend someone to do it?
Applications to fell or prune a protected tree must be made on the mandatory application form. A written decision is provided within 10 working days, inclusive of a site visit that can be used to provide good arboricultural advice on best practice tree management.
Carrying out the work is the responsibility of the applicant. The Council cannot recommend suitable contractors because of competition rules. Check the Yellow Pages, local newspapers, trade directories. Collect several competitive tenders and ask about qualifications, membership of trade associations (eg Arboricultural Association, International Society of Arboriculture) and references from previous jobs. Any permission from the Council will state that the work must be carried out in accordance with British Standard 3998. Ask the prospective contractors what that is!? The Councils' Town Managers section will tender for private work contact them on the details above
There is a tree in our street with a (broken branch/trunk),(branch obstructs path/drive), can you help?
Use the on-line reporting system to inform us of problems with trees in the pavement or in parks, playing fields or managed grass areas.
I am having problems with a tree in my neighbours garden, overhanging branches/blocking light, what can I do?
Civil law allows you to remove any overhanging branches that overhang your property back to the actual boundary line, ie projected up into the airspace over the line. This can technically be done without informing or gaining permission from the neighbour, but it is always much better to at least inform them. Technically the wood removed is owned by the owner of the tree. Therefore it should be offered or returned to that owner. If the tree is protected by any of the means listed in the first question then the appropriate pre-permission will need to be obtained. Alleged blocking of light to the house or garden is a separate situation and there are complex legal issues involved. Consequently if an amicable discussion or agreement between the parties does not resolve the problem then consult a solicitor.
My neighbour has Leylandii (cypress conifer) trees along our boundary and he/she will not reduce their height, what can I do?
Leylandii is basically not a tree but a hedge and will not be protected. Leylandii will never be covered by a Tree Preservation Order. The rights with reference to overhanging branches will apply, but if you cannot come to an amicable arrangement with the neighbour then the Council cannot help you. There is a self-help pressure group active in the area as part of a national lobby for the introduction of legislative control of Leylandii, who might advise you on the legal opportunities. Contact Mr Davies, Hedgeline, 0161 368 1791.
I think the tree(s) in my garden/neighbours garden, is causing subsidence/cracks to my house wall(s), what should I do?
You must engage a qualified structural surveyor to carry out a comprehensive survey to provide you with clear evidence and proposals for remediation. There are many other reasons that can cause damage to property other than trees, and an independent appraisal is vital if the end result leads to insurance claims and/or litigation.
Our staff can offer general advice about species, size, site or when to plant. For advice on planting a tree, please see our Tree Planting information page.
I believe you can get the Council to make your neighbour cut down their overhigh hedges that cause me nuisance?
Please note that new legislation was introduced on the 1st June 2005. See our High Hedges page for more information.
If you see work such as pruning, topping or felling being done to trees you know are protected, you can - approach the owner/operative and politely ask/inform them whether they knew the tree was protected through a TPO or being in a Conservation Area, or had they contacted the local Council to get written permission. If the situation is amicable ask if you could see the written answer from the Council.
If you don't want to approach the owner/worker direct, or don't get a satisfactory answer, use the contact details below to notify us of the situation.
If it is out of works hours or at the weekend/holidays etc, then you should report the matter to the Council as soon as possible on a working day, make notes of times, who did what when, better still, dated photographs/video evidence is also useful, as are vehicle numbers and contractors names if relevant, if the Council decides eventually to prosecute. You can also contact the police and ask for a referral to the Wildlife Officer if you think protected species might be in danger or it is the bird nesting season.
Do not take the law into your own hands!
The contact information below may be used to enquire about trees in Tameside. Please note that we are unable to answer enquiries or provide advice on issues outside of Tameside.