Trees growing on land


Guide to the law on trees in England and Wales. Please click on the graphic to enlarge it.


Basic Land Law: civil  Trees growing on land    Trees are attractive — a vital part of the landscape.  Nowadays we see them as increasingly important to the health of people, as well as wildlife.  There’s a need to look after trees, in case they suffer from diease or accident, and pose a risk to people or property.  Trees should be planted in the right place, bearing in mind the height to which they will ultimately grow, and any tendency they may have to shed leaves or block light from neighbouring properties.   Our Live Law video provides an example of the friction betwen neighbours and the damage which may be caused when a large tree is planted too close to a building.  Landowners need to be aware of potential problems with trees, especially in built-up areas, and to intervene at an early stage, before a problem becomes serious and expensive.

Questions answered in this Live Law file  How the law defines trees for particular purposes.  Who is entitled to plant trees;  where and when.  How the law makes people responsible for looking after them and preventing them from causing damage and harm.  In what circumstances does liability to pay compensation arise, if someone suffers injury or damage from a tree.  What is the position regarding encroaching roots and branches, and falling leaves.  How can trees be protected by Tree Preservation Orders (“TPOs”).  And when is it necessary to plant a replacement when a protected tree has to be removed.  How the law differs regarding trees differs in Conservation Areas and other special areas.  What other powers do local authorities have in relation to trees growing on land.  How does the law deal with related issues, such as tree houses, and trees near roads.

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