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Keeping Your Trees Safe and Legal

As a property manager, you have a duty to maintain the health and safety of trees on your grounds. While beautiful trees enhance your property, improperly maintained trees can damage buildings and endanger residents.


Here are some tips to balance tree preservation and safety:


Inspect Trees Regularly


Regularly inspect trees after extreme weather like storms. Look for fallen branches, trunk damage, and signs of disease. Trees naturally weaken with age, so monitor older trees closely. Contact an arborist immediately if you see:

  • Dead branches

  • Leaf loss/bare branches

  • Mushrooms at the base

  • Cracked bark

  • Tilted trunk

An arborist can assess safety and disease threats like ash dieback or Dutch elm disease. Though less common now, Dutch elm disease wiped out millions of English elms in the 1900s.


Act Quickly If Disease Is Suspected


If you suspect tree disease, act quickly. Infected elm and ash trees become hazardous as branches die and break. Report signs to your local authority. Prompt removal and disposal of infected trees slows disease spread.


Consider Neighbors When Planting


If planting new trees, pick species suitable for your climate and soil. Also consider sunlight access for nearby properties. In the UK, neighbors can acquire "right to light" if a tree fully blocks sunlight to a window. Plant with space between homes.


Get Permits for Protected Trees


Check with your local authority if a tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). TPOs protect specific trees to preserve local amenity. Felling or lopping TPO trees requires a permit. Felling protected trees also requires replacement planting.


With vigilance and care, your trees can thrive safely for generations. Take steps now to assess tree health and mitigate risks. A well-maintained landscape benefits your property and community.



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