Sadly trees are being felled all the time, but some incidents are worse than others and big tree-saving campaigns are frequently needed. This was the case recently at the McDonald’s drive-through off Green Lanes, N4, where 11 trees were felled without permission. You don’t need to be local to help, often the best way to save trees is by signing petitions, contributing to fundraisers or writing emails to insurers or local councillors. Send us a message and we can help you join up with other tree-savers.
Before you do anything else, it is advisable to monitor the cracks in your property over a period of at least a year. It may be that the cracks open and close with the seasons and you may decide this is something you can live with. Buildings have always moved, especially if built on clay soils, and it does not always have to be a cause for concern. You can of course seek the advice of your insurance company without actually making a claim. However, if you can afford it, you should get an independent arboriculturist to visit and give you an independent assessment on whether the tree is causing the problem. It may be that a bit of pruning is all that is needed.
It may be that local homeowners are concerned about possible subsidence or loss of light and are trying to kill the trees. There are many ways to kill trees and this is criminal damage. Take photos, contact the woodland’s friends group if they have one and let the council know. You should also dial 101 and report it to the police
If the roots of your tree have caused damage to a neighbour’s property, then unfortunately you are liable for the damage under the law of nuisance. However you should always ask for proof. Unfortunately the law also says that even if a tiny amount of your tree’s roots can be found under their property then you are liable. However, do seek advice from an independent and sympathetic arboriculturalist . If you can show that you have been seeking advice and keeping the tree well-pruned you may be able to save the tree.
First of all speak to the homeowners to see if they feel the same as you. Let them know about this website and how our organization can support them. Even if they are not in agreement you can ask your council for a Tree Preservation Order. TPO’s are imposed by local councils to protect trees which improve the local environment and can be seen by others, not just the tree-owner. When a tree is protected by a TPO the council’s permission is needed before any work can be done on the tree – even removing a dead branch or doing some pruning. If permission is refused, the owners can appeal to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister within 28 days of the council’s refusal. To find out if a particular tree already has a TPO, consult your local council.
If the tree is in a Conservation Area, the local authority has the option to serve a TPO before any work can be done. Failure to comply with a TPO can result in fines of up to £20,000.