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Statute Laws - Arboriculture

Statute laws that Affect arboriculture:


  • Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003

  • Highways Act 1980

  • Local Government  (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

  • Access to Neighbouring Lands Act 1992

  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990

  • Tree preservation Orders

  • Tree works and nesting birds


Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003:

This enables authorities in England or Wales to sort out complaints about high Hedges.

If your next door neighbour has a really high hedge that you believe is blocking out some of your light, you can ask the tree officer to complete a height test or have a look at Emily Doskow (April 2008) as it explains the law in simple terms.


Highways Act 1980

This states that the highways authority have a duty to maintain the trees that are found along highways also Charles Mynors (2002) talks about this. They have the duty to maintain low branches or dangerous tree that are alongside highways and could be a possible danger to the public. This also includes the removal of branches trees or hedges that cover lights which would reduce light levels at night and could cause an accident. This also enables the Highways authority to notify land owners of their trees that could be a possible danger to highways and there users. Trees officers work closely with Highways authority. 


Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

This legislation enables the local authority to maintain, or remove dangerous trees on private property. This means any tree that could prove dangerous to the public or the third party. If the owner does not want to complete or get work done to make the tree safe, This legislation gives the local authority to serve the owner notice, to complete the work themselves, and recover the expenses from the occupier.


Access to Neighbouring Lands Act 1992

If we the local authority need to complete some tree wok on a dangerous tree and need to use someone’s land to access the tree, if the land owner does not allow local authorities to complete the work. The legislation contained within this act allows authorities to apply to a court for an access order. Providing the work needed doing is necessary and using the owners land makes the operation run smoother and safer the order will be given.


Town and Country Planning Act 1990

This is one of the most important legislations an officer needs to take into account. George, E, (2004) explains It’s an order made by the local planning authority. This gives the local authority power to protect a single or group of trees using a (TPO) Tree Preservation Order. The order makes it an offence to, damage, destroy, Prune, Uproot, cut down or remove a tree that has a Tree preservation order. A Tree Preservation Order cannot be put on shrubs, hedges, unless reverted back to a line of individual trees.

A Tree Preservation Order is normally placed on a tree that is in public’s view or creates amenity value to the local surrounding. If a TPO is in question the owner has a right to object to such an order. Once a Tree Preservation Order is given the owner is still responsible for the cost to maintain the tree.

Any work from that point onwards cannot be completed unless written permission from local authorities to complete the work is accepted; this can take up to 8 weeks. The Tree Expert Can carry out a TPO request on your behalf.

The only exemption to work taken out on a TPO Given tree is if it is Dying, diseased or decayed, The Tree Expert can check if your tree has any of these symptoms. 


Tree Works & Nesting Birds


Written By Simeon Balsam



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