Council offers advice on overhanging trees and hedges
27 June 2018Summer is well under way and telephone enquiries to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Contact Centre regarding issues with trees and hedges is likely to increase over the next couple of months.
After rapid growth at this time of year, trees and hedges often spread over boundary lines into other people’s properties. This can cause a range of issues in neighbouring properties including blocking light, spreading leaf litter, safety concerns and problems with television signal.
Many people may not be aware that they have a Common Law right which allows them to remove tree branches that cross over their boundary. Legally, you do not need your neighbour's permission to do this, but it is always advisable to let your neighbour know what you plan to do.
You should also check whether or not the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), as works to cut overhanging branches may need special permission.
Crossing the boundary to remove branches is not permitted and it is also a myth that you can dispose of the cut material over the fence into your neighbour's garden. Always ask your neighbour if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they don't, it is your responsibility to dispose of it responsibly. Small volumes of green waste can be disposed of in residents' garden waste bins, as long as they are cut up, and can fit in the bin with the lid closed.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Many trees in public spaces are maintained by the Council, this includes trees in public parks and open spaces and those within highway verges. Priority for tree work is given first and foremost to ensuring our trees are in a safe condition to be enjoyed by the residents and visitors of the borough.
“While we understand that trees provide wide ranging benefits to the environment, economy and the visual landscape, we also understand that sometimes trees and hedges can cause problems for residents. The Council’s website has a wide range of information to provide advice and guidance.”
Residents can report issues with trees in public open spaces, parks, woodlands and highway verges using the links on the Your Streets website.
Once an enquiry has been logged it will be inspected and where action is justified for safety reasons, it will be arranged.
The Council will investigate enquiries where a tree is causing an obstruction, is dead, dying or dangerous; damaging property or surfaces; or obscuring road, street signs or lighting columns. The Council is not able to prune or fell trees for reasons such as shade, leaf litter, TV reception, bird fouling or insect activity.
If you have an issue with a tree or hedge not owned by the Council advice and guidance can be found on the council website, or search ‘trees’ from the homepage.