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Can I be fined for trimming overhanging branches?

TRIMMING overhanging branches on your property is within your rights, but it’s important to proceed carefully to avoid potential issues.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on trimming trees and handling branches that extend beyond your property boundaries.


Trimming overhanging branches is not illegal in the UK[/caption]


However you cannot trespass your neighbours property[/caption]

Is it illegal to trim overhanging branches?

No, it is not illegal to trim overhanging branches.

In the UK, you have the right to trim overhanging branches back to the property boundary, but you must avoid causing damage to the tree.

It’s advisable to discuss your intentions with your neighbour beforehand to maintain good relations.

And you should only cut them up to your property line.

However, you are not allowed to lean into your neighbour’s garden when trimming a tree since that can be considered trespassing.

A spokesperson for GardenBuildingDirect.com told Express: “Most of us want to be good, law-abiding neighbours, but that can be difficult if we don’t actually know what the law is.

“There may be times when it would be within your legal rights to do something, but it could cause tensions with your neighbour.

“We’d always advise trying to come to a neighbourly solution first, as this is always preferable to having to call in the lawyers.

“If you brush up on the law as it stands, you may be able to avoid any sort of dispute altogether, which is always the ideal solution.”

Can I be fined for trimming overhanging branches?

You generally won’t be fined for trimming overhanging branches as long as you do so responsibly and within your rights.

It’s important to avoid causing damage to the tree or trespassing onto your neighbour’s property without permission.

We’d always advise trying to come to a neighbourly solution first, as this is always preferable to having to call in the lawyers.

Spokesperson for GardenBuildingDirect.com

Although you have the right to trim branches hanging over your garden, any plants, flowers, or fruits that are cut belong to your neighbour.

The experts said: “This means that any flowers and fruits on trimmings also belong to them.

“Plus, they don’t just have to rely on your goodwill – they’re legally entitled to ask for them back.”

But do not throw the fruits back into their garden without them knowing since that could count as waste fly-tipping or littering.

If you take fruits from your neighbour’s trees without permission, it could potentially be classified as theft or trespass, depending on the circumstances and the value of the fruits.

The penalties for theft or trespass can vary.

In the UK, for example, penalties for theft can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence and the value of the items stolen.

It’s important to remember that taking someone else’s property without permission is illegal and can lead to legal consequences.

If you’re interested in harvesting fruits from your neighbour’s trees, it’s best to discuss it with them and seek their permission first.

What is a Tree Preservation Order?

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a legal designation made by a local planning authority, such as a council, in the UK to protect specific trees or woodlands.

Once a TPO is in place, it is illegal to cut down, uproot, prune, or otherwise damage protected trees without obtaining permission from the local authority.

TPOs are typically used to protect trees that contribute to the local environment, are of significant amenity value, or have historical or cultural importance.

Violating a TPO can result in severe penalties, including fines and restoration requirements.

The fines for breaking a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in the UK can vary widely depending on the severity of the offence and the decision of the courts.

However, they can potentially reach up to £20,000 or more for each tree affected.

In addition to fines, offenders may also be required to cover the costs of restoring the trees or woodlands to their previous condition.

Penalties can also include community service orders, injunctions, or in extreme cases, imprisonment.

How can I find out if my neighbour has a Tree Preservation Order?

To find out if your neighbour’s trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), you can contact your local council’s planning department.

They maintain records of all TPOs within their jurisdiction and can provide information upon request.

Many councils also offer online services where you can search for TPOs.

Alternatively, you can visit the council offices in person to inquire about any TPOs that may apply to your neighbour’s trees.

It’s advisable to seek this information before undertaking any work on or near their trees to ensure compliance with local regulations.

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