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Tree Surgeons

 tree surgeons

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Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders

Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, if the tree/s are in a conservation area and are over 75mm in girth at 1.3m or are subject to a Tree Preservation Order, permission is required from the Local Planning Authority before works can commence.

We can make this application on your behalf.

The process of application for conservation areas is 6 weeks and TPO’ s 8 weeks. If your trees are Dead, Dying or Dangerous then notification to the Local Planning Authority with 5days notice is all that is required.

We can assess the tree and provide this notice on your behalf.     

Best pruning times?

There are 5 Phenological periods over the seasons: Spring 1, Onset of growth. 2, Formation of new leaves and needles. Summer 3, High photosynthetic period (growth). Storage Autumn 4, Production of new storage. Leaf drop. Winter 5, Dormancy.

The worst time to prune trees is during periods of high energy usage (Spring/ Autumn, bud break and leaf drop). Also some species have a tendency to ‘bleed’ in spring. The best time is periods of low energy usage and when the trees defence is at its highest ( Summer/ Winter, energy storage and dormancy).

However, most trees in good health can be pruned throughout the year. Please call for further advice.     


Modern Arb Services emphasise all our operations on Health and Safety. Apart from HSE requirements we must also are covered by adequate insurance specific to our high risk industry.

Our Insurance provides us with cover for:

  • Employers Liability £1,000,000 (covers all employees and sub contractors for accidents)
  • Public and Products Liability £1,000,000 (Covers the public and our clients for damages or accident)
  • Professional Indemnity Liability £5,000,000 (Covers any recommendations made within reports or quotes).

    What can I do about a Neighbours tree?

    Please observe the following abbreviations

    B: Owner A: Neighbour

    Overhanging branches are not an offence in Law. (A) have the right to prune back to the boundary irrespective of good arboricultural practice. Branches remain the property of (B). (A) must offer the branches back to (B). If the trees are protected (see TPO’s and conservation areas), consent is required. However you do not need permission to abate a nuisance i.e. branches damaging brickwork or guttering. Take photos to prove you are abating a nuisance and give the Local Planning Authority 5 days notice.

    Right to Light: A right to light is virtually impossible to prove. (A) have to provide evidence that you had 30 years undisturbed light prior to (B)’s offending tree preventing it.

    High Hedges: In 2005 the High Hedges Regs. came into force as part of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. Essentially the Regs. provide the Local Authority with the power to enforce (B) to lower the height of any row of evergreen trees dependant on their location with regards to the Sun path and (A)’s position.

    We can advise and assist with any of the above situations in detail.     

    What’s Pleaching?

    Pleaching is a method of pruning and ‘tie-in in’ of a row or avenue of broadleaved trees. The aim is to produce a high hedge with clear stems, creating a screen or an alternative to heavy pruning such as pollarding. The idea is used to great effect in Paris and across France. There is a good example in the Gallery of a row of limes we converted from regular pollarding to an attractive pleached hedge.     

    What’s Topiary?

    Topiary has been popular since the days of ancient Rome. The earliest literary description of topiary (the art of clipping trees and bushes into geometric or whimsical shapes) comes from the Roman consul Pliny the elder (AD 62-110) writing about his garden in Tuscany. It seems that its immediate popularity was ensured as the gardener who first introduced it to the Romans Cneius Matius, who was a close friend of Julius Caeser and the Emperor Augustus.

    It is more than likely that the Romans introduced Topiary into Great Britain and it has had a chequered history ever since. Our highly experienced Topiary team can provide a comprehensive seasonal service.

    If you require a Box or Yew hedge planting scheme then do not hesitate to contact us.     

    What’s tree related subsidence/ heave?


    Trees take considerable amounts of water from the soil in spring and summer when they are growing most vigorously. Clay soils shrink when they are dried and expand when they become wetter. The combination of these two factors, particularly in extended dry periods can lead to subsidence in buildings near trees if their foundations do not go to a depth which the soil moisture content and volume remain stable.


    Large, vigorously growing trees, particularly species with high water demands can dry soil to the extent that it does not re-hydrate completely in water. This can lead to the establishment of persistent moisture deficit, particularly where tree root deeply in the more impermeable soils, which are frequently the ones most prone to shrinkage and swelling. If such trees die or are removed the consequent re-hydration and swelling of the soil can lead to heave damage in buildings nearby, especially if they are appreciably younger than the tree/s (i.e. built on soil that was already desiccated). This movement can take a considerable time if the desiccation is deep and severe, although buildings are usually stable afterwards.     

    My trees block light what can I do?

    There are several pruning methods such as thinning, reducing and lifting etc. to obviate this problem but the solution is specific to each individual case. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a site visit, free of charge.     

    My tree has mushrooms or fungus growing on it?

    Not all fungus are detrimental to the trees health or stability. However some can efficiently degrade wood and make a tree dangerous causing inevitable failure. Some fruiting bodies also only appear at certain times of the year and are the only method of identification.

    Therefore call in an expert immediately to identify the fungal fruiting bodies and provide a report or estimate including remedial actions.

    We can provide a full service.     

    Can you remove stumps?

    Yes, we use a stump grinding machine to remove the ‘bowl’ of the stump to 300mm below ground level. Certain species require poisoning prior to removal to prevent water shoots growing from the root system.     

    What is honeydew?

    The sticky black substance beneath Lime trees and Sycamores is called honeydew. This is produced by Aphids feeding on the trees sap. The sap has a limited amount of nutrients and therefore the Aphids need to digest a lot of it, the bi-product of this excessive feeding is droplets of ‘honeydew’. When produced on a large scale it can cause damage to car paintwork, garden furniture and patio’s etc.

    The honeydew will reduce through the summer as the natural predators of the Aphids increase. However, pruning can limit the foliage of the tree or clear the effected area.

    Please call for advise on solutions.     

    How often should I water my trees?

    Newly planted trees require daily watering during the dry Summer months for the first two years and weekly watering during Winter, Spring and Autumn. The amount depends on the size of tree but a bucket is generally a good gauge. After two years the tree should be established and able to support itself, however watering would not go amiss during prolonged periods of drought.