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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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We have a problem with some elm trees which are growing

Customer Question

Hello, we have a problem with some elm trees which are growing within our legal boundary but which are also forming a canopy over a hedge of value on local authority land. Our boundary falls within the middle of the ditch upon which the trees are growing. We would like to have them removed in order to allow the hedge to flourish but the council have said we can only take them down to just below our fence. The roots are also extremely invasive and have small shoots growing from them.
Could you please advise whether we can remove the trees that are on our boundary? Many thanks in advance.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
Hello. If the trees are on your land, they are your trees. Unless protected by a Tree Preservation Order, you can do as you please with the trees and you do not need the Council's consent to remove them. The Council would probably have mentioned any TPO, but you ought to check with them again as to whether or not this applies. Best, WB
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks for your email, just to confirm there is no TPO as the trees are only dutch elm trees. Would you agree that elm trees do not constitute a hedgerow, in fact they cannot be classed as a hedge? Also as I understand it, a hedgerow of value by definition is a hedgerow that is over 30 years old whereas an elm tree can only naturally live to between 20 and 25 years and so cannot fall into the value definition if it were to be classed as a hedge and of value?

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
I would agree that Elm trees are not hedges - I am really not sure why the Council is trying to dictate what you can and can't do with your on trees. They are not a hedge and they are not protected. I suggest you ask the Council to explain why, in law, you can't just remove the trees - I suspect they won't be able to do so, and you can then proceed knowing the Council will not take action. Best, WB
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning and thank you for your advice. I will drop the Council a line today incorporating your advice. Just out of interest, if you are able to provide a formal letter incorporating your advice, could you please let us have your details so that we can privately instruct you and perhaps give us an indication of your fee?

Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry, but it is against Just Answers rules to do this. However, I am sure a local solicitor would do this for you. Best of luck, and please do leave a rating. WB