If a tree is growing on privately owned land, the responsibility and maintenance of the tree rests with the landowner. Under the Occupiers Liability Acts the owner has a duty of care to whoever can be harmed by it. If you are not the tree owner and a neighbours’ tree is causing damage to your property, you need to contact the tree owner, a solicitor or your insurance company to abate the nuisance.

If you need tree advice on privately owned trees there are several ways forward:-

Tree Surgeon/Consultant

Tree Surgeons typically provide advice and guidance on tree maintenance; tree felling; planting and aftercare. More information regarding Tree Surgeons can be found here.
Arboricultural Consultants will give objective advice on tree condition and safety and, typically, do not undertake works to trees but will provide independent work specifications.

Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service

The Forestry Commission provides nationwide diagnosis, identification and advice on tree diseases. More information regarding the services provided and charges involved can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk.

The Arboricultural Association

The Arboricultural Association is a registered charity whose purpose is to promote the sustainable management of trees in areas where people live, work and play for the benefit of society. The Arboricultural Association maintains a Directory of Registered Consultants and directory of approved arboricultural contractors (also known as Tree Surgeons or Arborists). A tree (arboricultural) consultant is someone who has gained recognised qualifications and expertise in the care and management of trees, usually where these occur as landscape and amenity features, in gardens, parks or other populated settings, for the enjoyment and benefit of the public.

The Association also produces a range of publications on amenity tree care which are available at minimal cost. The Arboricultural Association also provides a guide to help with choosing a tree surgeon which is free to download entitled Tree Work – Choosing your Arborist.

The directory and list of publications are available at www.trees.org.uk/ or by calling 01242 522152.

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