NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

Are There Times Of The Year When You Should Not Undertake Tree Works?

Tree works should ideally not be conducted in the spring. The sap is rising at that time that allows the leaves to come out and for the photosynthesis process to start. Also, in autumn, when trees are drawing nutrients inside from the leaves while they are turning brown. If you need a tree surgeon in Southampton then please see HRG Tree Surgeons

If tree works are conducted during the spring, it could cause the tree to become more vulnerable to disease and pest attacks. If works are conducted during the autumn it can prevent the tree from being able to obtain all of the nutrients it needs for the following spring. It can put the tree under unnecessary stress, which increases the chance of disease.

Outside of those time frames, a majority of trees can be pruned during others parts of the year, with just a few exceptions.

Plum, Cherry, and related trees from the Prunus species need to be pruned right after they flower in order to reduce the risk of developing a bacterial infection.

Walnut, Beech, Birch, and Maple need to be pruned right after leaf fall or in leaf, while Magnolia should be pruned in high summer in order to avoid exuding sap (bleeding), which can be quite unsightly, although it is not damaging.

You should avoid pruning, if possible, when it can impair recovery. For example, during a time of physiological stress after construction-related damage, previous tree work, or during seasonal forms of weather extremes like extended heavy frost or drought.

Making the decision to cut down a tree needs to be taken very seriously. However, at times, it might be your only option, particularly when it comes to safety. If you would like to protect against felling, preservation and protection laws can be quite complex. This guide can help you use the best practices and offers alternatives for you to consider before reaching for an axe.

Keep in mind that felling a tree is illegal if breeding birds will be affected.

If you are wanting to fell a tree

Any time you have doubts about the legalities of conducting tree wors, you should always ask your relevant government department or local council for advice.:

Northern Ireland Forest Service
Natural Resources Wales
Scottish Forestry
Forestry Commission (England)

How to fell a tree inside your garden

If you own your house, you are not required to get permission to fell any tree that is completely inside your garden unless:

It is inside a Conservation Area
Is subject to any Tree Preservation Order

If you rent your house, then you will first need to get permission from your landlord.

If a neighbor suffers any injury or damage to their property due to your tree felling or works that is your liability. As an example, a tree could fall on a shed from an unexpected direction.

If a tree trunk is inside your garden, your neighbours do have the right to cut any overhanging branches.

Felling licences

Whenever a tree needs to be felled outside of your private garden, you might be required to have a felling licence. It is normally an offence to fell a tree without a licence if your tree(s) has a volume of 5 metres or more of timber.

Before you are issued a license, the appropriate government department will first discuss the relevant conditions with you. Usually, they are based on replanting the area and the trees being maintained over a certain period of time. There is not a restocking condition on licenses to thin woodland.