There are many different reasons you may want to cut down a tree, whether its structure has become too damaged or it’s putting others at risk. However, there are several considerations you must have about this type of project, including whether a tree felling licence is required. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is a Tree Felling Licence?
While tree felling is widely carried out, it’s a legally controlled activity. You may need a special licence from The Forestry Commission to carry out the work. This is the Government department responsible for the protection and expansion of our woodlands. They also regulate tree felling and enforce action if a tree was felled without permission when a licence was required beforehand.
You can only apply for a felling licence if you have a legal right over the trees or you’re acting on behalf of someone else who does.
Who Needs a Felling Licence?
While some tree felling projects will require a licence, you may not need one if your project falls under certain conditions. Cases exempt from licences are detailed in the Forestry Act 1967 and the Forestry (Exceptions from Restriction of Felling) Regulations 1979.
This includes exemptions for the size of trees you can cut down on your own property without a licence, tree maintenance work (e.g. pollarding), particular fruit trees, inner London borough rules, dangerous and nuisance trees, diseased trees and developments covered by full planning permission.
The Forestry Commission may also need to consider the protection of wildlife and habitats, protection of landscapes and public access, although many of these won’t apply to trees grown on private properties.
How to Get Expert Tree Care Advice
If you’re considering whether tree felling is required, always involve a professional tree surgeon to ensure the legality and safety of your project is in place from day one. Anyone involved in the felling of a tree has a responsibility to make sure a licence or proper permissions are obtained before conducting the work (if required), so a tree care company will help you with everything you need.
You’ll also need to think about any other rules and regulations that may affect your ability to fell the tree without permission. This includes whether you own the tree, e.g. it’s on a neighbour’s property or public land. Your tree surgeon should also be able to run checks to see whether a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is applied or its planted in a conservation area.
How to Apply for A Tree Felling Licence
If you wish to apply for a licence, please get in touch with the expert team at DH Tree Services for more advice and tree felling services. If you need us to cut down a tree at your property, we can support you with all the paperwork required, including applying for a tree felling licence on the government website here. To speak to our team about tree care services near Reigate, Sanderstead and Surrey, call 01737 215 718 or 07872 615 504 now.