About Trees – Kent Tree Surgeons

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Bird Nesting Season: How Does Bird Nesting Affect Tree Work in the UK and What You Should Do to Avoid Harming Birds?

Bird nesting season typically runs from March into autumn in the UK, during which time birds will be actively building nests, laying eggs, or raising their young. All of this, of course, is a regular, everyday part of nature – but you might find that it can cause a headache for you if you require any tree work during this time.

With that in mind, About Trees has put together a handy guide for what you should do to avoid harming birds during nesting season, and staying on top of all relevant wildlife legislation.

Nesting season is a crucial time for the survival of many bird species throughout the UK. It’s also a crucial time for members of the public and tree work experts – who can play a small part in ensuring that our natural environments stay protected.

During the nesting season – which typically runs from March to September/October in the UK – you will see many species actively building nests in trees, either to lay eggs or raise their young.

Under UK legislation aimed at protecting nesting birds, tree surgeons and tree work experts have added responsibilities when it comes to their work during this period. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the obligations required when it comes to protecting birds:

What is the legislation around bird nesting in the UK?

The main piece of legislation on bird nesting in the UK is The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This legislation gives robust legal protection for wild birds and their nests, their eggs, and their young.

With regards to tree work, the legislation states that it is illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb nesting birds, meaning that any tree work carried out during this time must be carefully planned and executed to minimise the risk of disturbance.

Bird Nesting Season About Trees Tree Surgery Kent

How does bird nesting affect tree work?

As experienced tree surgeons based in Kent, About Trees understands the Wildlife and Conservative legislation, and we are fully committed to complying with all relevant guidelines to protect nesting birds.

While tree work can sometimes be a lot more tricky during the nesting season, we go the extra length of conducting pre-work checks, so as to thoroughly identify nesting sites and take appropriate measures to avoid all disturbance. As with all experienced tree work companies, we will always legally and ethically comply with the legislation, meaning that we will be thorough in our checks, and we’ll stop work or postpone it if an active nest is found.

Within our pre-work checks, we also go to added lengths to try to identify whether or not ground nesting is present in the area. Ground nesting birds, such as skylarks, are often vulnerable during the nesting season. These birds build their nests on grassland and heathland habitats, making them susceptible to disturbance from tree work going on around them.

In addition, when working in areas where nesting may be present within the wider vicinity, we take extra care to minimise the risk of disturbance. This will often involve: adjusting our work schedule; implementing exclusion zones around nesting sites; being mindful of how work we carry out might expose nesting birds to the elements; and using machinery which features reduced noise.

What is the best way to avoid harming birds during bird nesting season?

If you are a client looking for us to carry out tree work on your behalf, the best action you can take is simply being mindful of the legislation in the UK and patient when it comes to the limitations imposed on us during nesting season.

In some cases, we might find it necessary to postpone tree work until the nesting season is over to avoid harming nesting birds. While this may cause inconvenience, the protection of wildlife and adherence to legal requirements are our top priorities and part of our commitment to excellence.

We are always happy to discuss these matters with our clients individually. We want to make sure that our clients feel empowered, educated, and understood when talking through specific issues related to their tree needs. Quite often, clients will appreciate the care and attentiveness we put into ensuring their needs are met, while also meeting all legal, ethical, and moral requirements on the part of our wonderful environments!

Conclusion: Working For Nature and For Our Clients

All tree work requires meticulous planning and expertise, and that’s all before mentioning the careful legislation involved which is designed to protect nature and animal habitats. When it comes to bird nesting and operating during bird nesting season, we will always do everything we can to work for our clients, while also working for a better natural environment.

If you want to discuss how we can help you then please get in touch.

Bird Nesting Season About Trees Tree Surgery Whitstable Kent
Bird Nesting Season About Trees Tree Surgery Whitstable Kent

Who is Responsible for Cutting an Overhanging Tree in the UK? [Understanding the Legalities and Your Rights]

An overhanging tree can not only be a nuisance and a disruption, but in some cases, they can even damage an individual’s property if not dealt with.

So who is responsible for cutting back an overhanging tree in the UK? Here’s everything you need to know regarding cutting back an overhanging tree, ensuring you know your legalities, and who you should consult if you need to scale back an unruly tree…

It should really go without saying that trees are beautiful, majestic, and life-giving – integral to our natural environment and the overall character of our country’s landscapes.

But trees come with responsibilities, especially when property and individual rights are concerned.

One of the issues which About Trees Ltd deals with frequently is that of overhanging trees – and who is responsible when a part of a tree extends or hangs over one person’s property and encroaches onto another’s.

Trees must be properly maintained, and the law is very clear on what can be done to ensure trees are managed in the right way so that property, personal and environmental rights are all respected.

Below, we’ll answer the question commonly asked of us: “Who is responsible for cutting an overhanging tree?”

Firstly, what are the legalities around cutting overhanging trees in the UK?

Let’s start off with the straightforward stuff. Under UK law, you are entitled to trim or cut any overhanging branches from your neighbour’s tree, up to the boundary of your property. This is known in UK law as the “right to abate a nuisance.” The main legal requirement is that, if you choose to cut from an overhanging tree, you must not trespass onto your neighbour’s property to do so. Other than that, you’re well within your rights to cut from a tree which is encroaching on your property.

The main caveat is that certain trees or areas are protected under specific laws in the UK. For example, if a tree is located in a Conservation Area or has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), it has additional protections. Failure to comply with the protected status of these trees can result in penalties, including fines and legal action.

It is recommended that you check with your local council or a professional tree surgeon, like About Trees, to ensure you are always following the law when dealing with overhanging trees.

About Trees Overhanging Tree Neighbour Garden Tree Surgeon Kent

So, can I cut off a part of an overhanging tree that is on my property?

As stated, if branches from a neighbouring tree are overhanging onto your property, you have the right to trim back the branches to the property boundary. However, you must do this entirely within your own property. Additionally, UK law has a somewhat strange additional requirement: any arisings (meaning the cuttings from the overhanging tree), must be offered back to the tree owner. This is a legal obligation.

Finally, it should be noted that when it comes to things like fallen leaves, fruits, or debris, you cannot legally force your neighbour to remove these natural falling occurrences or prevent them from happening – even if they’re on your property.

You might not like them, but in the same way as you also might not like birds doing their business on your patio furniture, there’s only so much that the law can deal with!

Who is actually responsible for cutting an overhanging tree?

By now, you’re likely to have a firm understanding of your legal position when it comes to cutting an overhanging tree, but you might still have questions about who is actually responsible for managing this.

For example, say an overhanging tree is getting so unwieldy that it causes disruption or damage to your property – or if you think managing this intrusion would be too costly to deal with. You might ask, should your neighbour not bear some responsibility for removing it, even if it’s on your property?

These situations are actually quite common, and the most honest answer is that each situation requires dedicated communication between the tree owner and the property owner, otherwise they can become a legal dispute. Every situation involving an overhanging tree will be different from the next, meaning there cannot ever be a single, simple answer.

If you are unsure about your responsibility or your neighbour’s responsibility when it comes to an overhanging tree, consulting a professional tree care expert like About Trees can provide you with the advice and guidance you need – as well as help you to avoid a potentially costly legal battle.

I want to consult a professional service about an overhanging tree. How should I go about this?

If you want information about an overhanging tree, or if you want a specific tree dealt with, you can always seek advice from professionals who understand the complexities of tree management.

About Trees Ltd is a reputable tree surgeon and tree care specialist in Kent, focused on the management of all things trees. Our team of experts can provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to deal with overhanging trees effectively.

If you want to discuss how we can help you then please get in touch.

About Trees Overhanging Tree Neighbour Garden Tree Surgeon Whitstable Kent

How Serious Is Ash Dieback?

Spotting the signs and knowing what can happen if Ash Dieback isn’t properly treated

Ash Dieback has become a serious issue in recent decades, with the disease targeting ash trees throughout the UK and causing their death. In this article, we’ll cover how individuals can spot the early signs of Ash Dieback, how they can inform themselves of what happens if the disease isn’t properly treated, and what they can do to stop the disease from spreading.

Ash Dieback is an incredibly destructive disease, which is currently affecting the UK’s native ash species and leading to damage to our natural ecosystems.

The disease, which is caused by a fungus named Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, was first identified in 2006. It is believed to be of Eastern Asian origin, but has spread throughout many parts of Europe in recent decades. Ash Dieback’s spread was so chronic that it even led the New Scientist magazine to ask the question of whether or not Europe’s ash trees were “finished”, due to the disease’s seemingly unstoppable spread.

The disease was first found in the UK in 2012. While there have been many attempts to mitigate or halt the spread of it in the years since then, it continues to be present throughout much of the UK.

Tree maintenance groups, environmental groups, and other governing bodies throughout the UK are working hard to continue fighting against the spread of Ash Dieback. But individuals in the UK can also play their part, by understanding the disease and alerting relevant groups to its presence in specific areas.

Here’s everything you need to know about spotting the signs of Ash Dieback, what can happen to ash trees if the disease is not properly treated as we answer the question ‘How Serious Is Ash Dieback?’.

What is ash dieback?

Ash Dieback, scientifically known as Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is a fungal disease that specifically targets ash trees.

Likely originating from Asia, Ash Dieback is an invasive pathogen that has spread across Europe, the British Isles, and North America. The fungus infects trees through their leaves, and can quickly spread throughout the entire tree, ultimately leading to its death. The spores of the fungus can be transmitted by wind, which explains the rapid spread of the disease throughout various countries and continents.

What telltale signs should I look out for when it comes to spotting Ash Dieback?

When trying to identify Ash Dieback, there are several key signs to look out for.

One of the biggest early warning signs to look out for is Crown Dieback, meaning the death or withering of branches at the top of the tree. Premature leaf loss and reduced canopy density are also common characteristics.

Another notable symptom is the wilting and blackening of the leaves, particularly at the tips and edges (leaves which are affected by the disease will often give off the appearance that they have been “burnt”).

As the disease progresses, you may also observe diamond-shaped lesions on the bark (although the exact shape can often vary). These lesions indicate the disease’s invasion within the bark and the tree’s tissue. Additionally, the presence of small, white fruiting bodies on the bark can indicate a severe infection.

Why should I be worried about Ash Dieback?

Ash Dieback poses a genuine, existential threat to both individual ash trees and entire ecosystems.

If left untreated, the disease can lead to the widespread death of ash trees, which are a crucial component of the landscapes and habitats in Kent and, indeed, in counties throughout the UK.

Beyond the obvious aesthetic benefits of having plenty of beautiful ash trees in our natural environments, society should always be made aware that ash trees provide essential ecological services, such as habitat for wildlife, carbon sequestration, and soil stabilisation. The loss of these trees on a widespread basis will almost certainly have knock-on effects on the UK’s biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Got it. What should I do if I spot Ash Dieback?

If you suspect that an ash tree is infected with Ash Dieback, it is essential to act promptly to prevent the spread of the disease. Contact a professional arborist, tree surgeon, arboriculturist, or forestry expert – such as About Trees Ltd – to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options. While there is no cure for Ash Dieback, early detection can play a massive role in minimising the disease’s spread.

About Trees Ltd has been proud to play a decisive role in fighting against Ash Dieback in the UK, ensuring that our country’s natural habitats stay healthy and full of life.

Conclusion: Spot the signs – get the treatment

When we think back to the question “How Serious is Ash Dieback?”, we hope you’ll agree based on our blog that it is a fairly strong disease affecting UK trees.

Individuals who are armed with the knowledge of how to spot the signs of Ash Dieback – such as wilting or darkened leaves, Crown Dieback, Lesions on the bark, or epicormic growth (meaning shoots growing from the trunk or branches) – will be well-placed to contact professionals who can deal with the issue.

About Trees Ltd are committed to preserving the health of trees in the UK – as well as fighting back against Ash Dieback.

If you believe you have a case of Ash Dieback, then please get in touch to find out how we can help.