What we don't investigate

We will only act on the below if ordered to do so by a court of law.

Trees blocking natural light

  • to improve natural light to private property unless it is required by a court order to do so
  • no legal ‘right to light’ - where trees growing naturally within the environment and are blocking light into a property

The tree owner is not by law obliged or required to carry out work to the tree for the benefit of level of light to a third party, unless -

  • the third party has brought a successful action through the courts demonstrating that a ‘right to light’ exists

If natural light is being blocked by the growth of a predominantly evergreen hedge, action may be taken to reduce the problem.

This is under the High Hedges Act, Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour Act, 2003.

Further information should be sought through our planning department.

Tree roots and drains

  • to prevent roots entering private drains that are already broken or damaged

Tree roots enter drains that are already broken or damaged -

  • usually a sign of an underlying problem requiring repair of the broken pipe

Trees very rarely break or damage the drain in the first place.

Your drains

Householders are often responsible for the maintenance of the drains within or on their property -

  • if you are concerned about the condition contact your water and sewerage company

Sap from trees

  • to prevent or reduce honeydew or other sticky residue falling onto private property

Honeydew is caused by greenfly, also known as aphids, feeding on the sap from the leaves and excreting their waste -

  • the aphid - causes the problem, not much can be done to remove
  • pruning the tree - may only offer temporary relief. Any re-growth is more likely to be colonised by greenfly, increasing the problem

Some trees, such as Limes, are more prone to attack by greenfly -

  • greenfly - more common especially following a mild winter
  • Honeydew - a natural and seasonal problem

When planting new trees, we try to choose trees that are less likely to have this problem.

Warm soapy water will remove honeydew from cars if you wash the car as soon as possible.

Blossom fall from trees

  • to remove or reduce blossom fall from trees or remove fallen blossom from private land

Tree blossom usually heralds the start of Spring -

  • blossom - natural occurrence
  • cannot be avoided by pruning
  • not regarded in law as a statutory nuisance

Bird droppings from trees

Bird droppings may be a seasonal nuisance.

  • the problem is not considered to be enough of a reason to prune or remove a tree

Nesting birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and other related wildlife law.

Warm soapy water will usually be enough to remove the bird droppings.

Satellite, television and other communications reception blocked by trees

  • to enable or ease installation or improve reception of satellite or television receivers

Your satellite or TV provider might be able to suggest a solution to the problem. For example, relocating the aerial or dish.

We will not reimburse costs associated with relocating a TV aerial or satellite dish.

Solar collectors and panels obstructed by trees

  • to improve the performance of solar water heating collectors or solar panels

We appreciate that there is a need to provide renewable energy resources -

  • trees have an important role in maintaining and improving local amenity
  • they contribute to local and national targets in tackling climate change

The presence of trees must be noted when deciding a location for solar collectors and panels.

Tree considered too large

  • a tree is not dangerous simply because it may be considered too big for its surroundings. Other problems would need to be present

Examples can be those described in earlier sections for us to consider it to be dangerous.

As a general form of management of our trees, we do not recognise -

  • crown reduction
  • lopping
  • topping
  • pollarding

This work can be detrimental to the health and future safety of trees. It is only undertaken in exceptional cases.