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Liability and the Laws with trees

Unless there is evidance to the contray, trees belong to the owner of the land on which they are growing.

There may encroach anothers property in two ways, by their branches or by their roots.

if the branches are growing over the boundary between two properties, the owner of the adjioning land may cut them back to the line of the boundry without giving notice to the owner. however, it is common courtesy if, prior to any work, the owner of the tree is informed. on the other hand an adjioning owner may not enter the property on which the tree is growing in order to cut back the incroaching branches, without first giving notice to the owner of the tree.

Where branches or limbs are removed by an adjioning owner, they remain the property of the owner of the tree. This also applies to any fruit growing on the branches of the tree.

Where branches overhanging a highway and may cause damage to vehicels or injury to pedestrians the owner of the tree be sued under the highways (Miscellaneous Provisions)Act 1961, section 10 to have the infringement removed.

Dangerous trees - damage caused by a tree or a part a tree falling is the liability of the owner only if it can be proved that the owner knew or should have known that the tree was dangerous and liable to fall yet took no action to prevent it; therefore omitting to do what a prudent and reasonable person would do or doing what a prudent and reasonable person would not do.

Poisonous trees - the general legal positions appears to be that the owner of a poisonous tree cannot be held liable for damages if the tree, or any clippings from it, are on his own land. If person (owner) allows the tree to grow out over neighbours land or deposits any clippings from it thereon, he/she may find themselfs responsible the death of any persons, livestock.

Tree owners must also be aware of pruning or felling a tree subject to a tree preservation order (TPO). It is an offence to do so without permission from the planning authority responsible for the order. It is also an offence to prune a tree in a conservation area without giving the local planning authority 6 weeks notice, and also with certain exceptions, it is an offence to fell trees without first obtaining a felling licence from the forestry authority. Crown has vast experience in dealing with local and forestry authorities

Most poisonous trees in this country both in leaf and fruit: Yew, Laburnum, Rhododendron, and Box.   

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