Jump to content
  • 0
Nikki1975

Advice re removal of silver birch trees

Question

Hi

I hope that someone can help me as I seem to be getting nowhere. I have 2 huge silver birch trees (one is 15m in height and the other is 12m in height after both of them being reduced in 2017) which are situated 5m from my house on my property boundary and owned by the council.  I have been in a constant battle with the council about the damage the trees are causing to my garden as the roots are on the surface barely covered by shingle which is the only thing I can have in my garden currently, I cannot add more shingle as this will then cover my damp course.  The roots have made my path uneven and and they are pushing a drain out of the ground. There are also random (sometimes quite large) branches falling into my garden and so feel my front garden is unuseable. The council have refused so far to remove the trees and say that they will contribute towards costs for me to have my garden reinstated including removing tree roots (despite telling me before not to touch them as this could make the trees unstable) and put right. Due to the conflicting information the council were giving me and the refusal of their own arborist to come out and check the trees  I paid to have a private arborist report done to try and get some clarity. The private arborist report I had done said the trees are showing signs of decay, are damaging my garden and are too close to the house and any repairs to the garden whilst the trees were still in situ would not be satisfactory as the problems would likely reoccur and so the recommendation was that the trees should be removed. I have yet to send this report to the council and their liability insurer but still think they may ignore it even though I will be pushing for the trees to be removed. However now I am concerned about what the consequences if they are removed will this affect the soil/ground and ultimately my property months or years down the line? And if so who will be liable for the costs/Repairs? Do the council have a duty to monitor the ground movement or anything after removing the trees? Of note I have had the soil type checked and I have a medium shrinkable clay with flint deposits. I am so worried and stressed by the whole situation and worry for the future of my house and investment.  I would be so grateful for any advice if anyone has been through or has knowledge of a similar scenario. Many thanks

D0C666E7-C20A-49E0-88A0-243E194C443D.jpeg

8AC9CB17-5A76-4399-A6CC-56A51C5400B8.jpeg

2B3ED0FA-5282-4A16-A3B3-F91DB60B7F8E.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Hi Nikki the problem you are haveing is a common day occurrence and it can look at first sight a complicated issue but in reality it’s quite simple.

The biggest problem when a tree is causing a problem to anyone’s garden is to find out who owns the tree which 

you have already established the council owns the land there fore it’s the Councils tree and therefore it is they who are liable for the up keep and maintenance of the said Tree and or trees.

So far you have done all the correct procedures such as getting a report and taking photographs of the roots and damage they are causing to your garden and you should make copy’s and send to the council or you can even get in touch with the local council tree officer or health and safety inspector as it’s been stated that the tree/tress are in poor health and in decay which comes within the health and safety aspect.

The other thing is by law you as the landowner which the tree/trees are causing issues with are able to cut back any branches back to your boundary line and this also includes any roots which are causing problems but again only back to your boundary line.

However cutting and removing roots is not really advisable as it may compromise the stability of the tree/trees and worse case scenario kill the tree.

I would submit all the relevant information you have to the council and if you are willing say that you are prepared to pay for the removal of the offending tree/trees at your own cost and if the council have any sense they will agree as they would rather not take the risk of you putting in a claim for garden,structure or drainage damage,prevention would be cheaper then the cure.

I hope this helps a little and it helps you move forward,you may get some more reply to you issue as there are some very knowledgeable guys on here who know far more then me about tree law.

keep us informed as to how you get on.

Regards

wayne

5 Shires Tree Surgery 

Edited by 5 shires
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
9 hours ago, 5 shires said:

Hi Nikki the problem you are haveing is a common day occurrence and it can look at first sight a complicated issue but in reality it’s quite simple.

The biggest problem when a tree is causing a problem to anyone’s garden is to find out who owns the tree which 

you have already established the council owns the land there fore it’s the Councils tree and therefore it is they who are liable for the up keep and maintenance of the said Tree and or trees.

So far you have done all the correct procedures such as getting a report and taking photographs of the roots and damage they are causing to your garden and you should make copy’s and send to the council or you can even get in touch with the local council tree officer or health and safety inspector as it’s been stated that the tree/tress are in poor health and in decay which comes within the health and safety aspect.

The other thing is by law you as the landowner which the tree/trees are causing issues with are able to cut back any branches back to your boundary line and this also includes any roots which are causing problems but again only back to your boundary line.

However cutting and removing roots is not really advisable as it may compromise the stability of the tree/trees and worse case scenario kill the tree.

I would submit all the relevant information you have to the council and if you are willing say that you are prepared to pay for the removal of the offending tree/trees at your own cost and if the council have any sense they will agree as they would rather not take the risk of you putting in a claim for garden,structure or drainage damage,prevention would be cheaper then the cure.

I hope this helps a little and it helps you move forward,you may get some more reply to you issue as there are some very knowledgeable guys on here who know far more then me about tree law.

keep us informed as to how you get on.

Regards

wayne

5 Shires Tree Surgery 

Thank you I have already put a claim in for damage to my garden and they are making an offer of £5000 in full and final payment which I don’t want to take incase of future issues. Also the people that are quoting (the council asked me to send quotes) aren’t happy to cut the roots as I suspected so really will be pushing for council to remove them as I don’t have the money and worry that if I do remove them (with the councils consent) then any future problems that may arise from them being removed ie subsidence or heave will fall to me to pay for or remedy if that makes sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Have you tried contacting a local councillor? They may well be no help but it might be worth a try. If you don't know any it might be worth seeing if there's a council meeting being broadcast on Zoom so you can get an idea of who to contact.

 

Do you have legal cover on your house insurance? If so they might be worth a try, although weight up the fact you may not want them involved.

 

The other option might be to look at taking legal advice, CAB might help. They may even be able to put you in contact with a solicitor who offers some initial free advice.

 

At least the offer of £5k would seem they are accepting liability.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Nikki1975 said:

Thank you I have already put a claim in for damage to my garden and they are making an offer of £5000 in full and final payment which I don’t want to take incase of future issues. Also the people that are quoting (the council asked me to send quotes) aren’t happy to cut the roots as I suspected so really will be pushing for council to remove them as I don’t have the money and worry that if I do remove them (with the councils consent) then any future problems that may arise from them being removed ie subsidence or heave will fall to me to pay for or remedy if that makes sense. 

Was the offer without prejudice?

 

You can always make a counter offer

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Nikki1975 said:

Thank you I have already put a claim in for damage to my garden and they are making an offer of £5000 in full and final payment which I don’t want to take incase of future issues. Also the people that are quoting (the council asked me to send quotes) aren’t happy to cut the roots as I suspected so really will be pushing for council to remove them as I don’t have the money and worry that if I do remove them (with the councils consent) then any future problems that may arise from them being removed ie subsidence or heave will fall to me to pay for or remedy if that makes sense. 

If they are making an offer that’s fine but it won’t solve the ongoing issues that you will have over the coming years so you are right not to accept there offer.

 

You need to push for the removal of the trees as they are already admitteing the trees are causing damage to your garden by offering you a payment.

 

just stick to your guns and insist on removal as once the trees have been removed you can deal with the root problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I would contact your own Home Insurance, see if they have legal advice.  If there was a problem with your property due to this issue at a later date, you would contact them anyway.

 

You have an independent Arborists report, speak to your insurer and let them know the situation and all the correspondence so far.  
 

See where you go, I would push for the removal by the council and liability for any further issues relating to this matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
13 hours ago, Paul in the woods said:

Have you tried contacting a local councillor? They may well be no help but it might be worth a try. If you don't know any it might be worth seeing if there's a council meeting being broadcast on Zoom so you can get an idea of who to contact.

 

Do you have legal cover on your house insurance? If so they might be worth a try, although weight up the fact you may not want them involved.

 

The other option might be to look at taking legal advice, CAB might help. They may even be able to put you in contact with a solicitor who offers some initial free advice.

 

At least the offer of £5k would seem they are accepting liability.

Thank you for your reply. Yes I have contacted the local councillor a while ago and she was very empathetic and did help in a way as the council actually responded to me when she was involved but ultimately the council wouldn’t budge and just told me to go through their insurers to get the damage fixed which is where I am at now, however like a said contractors aren’t willing to remove the roots to level the garden whilst the trees are still there and the arborist that did the report said that it was pointless repairing garden whilst trees are in situ as problems will likely reoccur. The more I think about it I might just sent this info to the council and include the councillor again and see what happens ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
11 hours ago, openspaceman said:

Was the offer without prejudice?

 

You can always make a counter offer

Thank you for your reply i am not sure if I am honest without looking. I will have to check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Featured Adverts

  • Tip site reviews

About

Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.