FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS






QUOTATIONS



How much does it cost for someone to come and look at my tree?

There is no charge, or obligation, for a quotation visit. During the site visit we will discuss your requirements, sometimes offer a number of options to achieve your objectives, and provide a fixed price quotation for the agreed upon works. The quotation may be provided on site verbally at your request or more formally, with a written quotation specifying the works.


Approximately, how much will it cost to fell my tree? 

We often receive telephone or email enquiries to quote on works without viewing the tree or trees. Because of the number of different factors involved, we refrain from doing this. When providing a quotation we have to consider a number of factors;


  • where the site is 
  • access arrangements - how close can we get our vehicle and wood-chipper to the tree
  • targets around the tree (greenhouses, sheds, garages, decking,conservatories, etc)
  • overhead utility cables
  • how big the tree actually is - people usually under or over-estimate this!



​It's my elderly parent's tree!

Clients often wish to arrange works for elderly parents or relatives. In these circumstances, we will arrange a site meeting at a mutually convenient time with a relative acting on their behalf.


Do you take everything away?

Only if you want us to! 


  • Clients with open fires and log-burning stoves may require that usable timber is retained on site.
  • Wood-chip - smaller diameter timber and branches processed through the woodchipper, may be utilised as a mulch on flower and shrub beds or as a surface for informal garden paths.


Please discuss your requirements during the quotation visit.



Can I keep the wood?

See above.

Retaining timber on site in manageable lengths will reduce the cost of the works. Cutting wood to a specified length to fit your fire will incur additional costs, due to the extra time and work involved. 


Do you cut/fell the tree from the ground?

​Where there is no significant risk to people or property, trees may be felled in one piece. Normally, due to a shortage of available space, trees are safely dismantled in sections to prevent damage to the surroundings.



How high will the stump be?

Unless otherwise specified, stumps are cut as close to ground level as is possible, normally only a few centimetres high.


We will treat stumps with herbicide, on request, where there is no risk of root-grafts and/or translocation to surrounding species.


We also offer a stump-grinding service to 'grind out' stumps, removing the main root mass to allow for turfing, re-planting or the erection of fencing/walls. 

Please discuss your requirements during the quotation visit.







PROTECTED AND OTHER PEOPLES TREES




Am I allowed to prune/fell my tree?

The most common laws and regulations affecting trees are Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas. Some Local Authority websites identify Conservation Areas as well as Individual, Group, 'Area' and Woodland TPOs.


Mad About Trees Ltd will always establish whether trees are subject to statutory protection before carrying out any works. Where possible, the status of the trees will be identified before the quotation meeting.


It's not my tree, but!
A problematic tree may often be situated in a neighbouring property. Whenever possible, we advise that a friendly approach to the owner is initially attempted. In our experience, the tree owner is often unaware that their tree is causing problems to others.


Where possible, we can arrange to meet with all the interested parties to discuss various solutions to the problem. We will provide a written 'Specification of Work', to illustrate and identify the extent of the work agreed. 


If the relationship with the tree owner has broken down and an amicable solution cannot be reached, there is still a common-law right to cut back the over-hanging tree canopy to the boundary - subject to the absence of any statutory protection. We can advise on this.


I don't think my tree is protected because;

  • it's a sycamore, conifer, etc 

Any tree in a Conservation area over 75mm diameter, measured at 1.5m above ground level is protected and requires a Section 211 Notice to the planning authority before pruning or felling.


Any tree, of any species, may be protected by a Tree Preservation Order. TPOs are used to protect selected trees and woodlands if their removal would have a significant impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public.


  • I planted it. 

In Conservation Areas, once a tree grows to exceed 75mm diameter it becomes elegible for protection, regardless whether it was planted by the current or previous landowners, or grew from seed naturally. 


  • it's growing on wasteland.

Where the landowner is unknown, we will undertake searches with the Local Authority and/or Land Registry. On some residential estates the original developer may still own parts of the original site or have entered into an agreement with the local authority to manage parts of the original site not assigned to individual building plots.



My tree has a Tree Preservation Order protecting it. Does that mean I can't do anything to it?
The existance of a TPO does not preclude pruning (or even, in some circumstances, felling) trees. An application to prune trees will receive consent from the planning authority if;

  • it is carried out for good reason
  • the specification is in compliance with 'British Standard 3998:2010 Treework - Recommendations.' and in line with current good/best arboricultural practice
  • it will not have an adverse, unacceptable impact on the visual amenity of the public realm 



I live in a Conservation Area. What does that mean?

Anyone intending to carry works of any description to trees larger than 75mm diameter (approximately 3 inches) must first give the council six weeks prior written notice - a 'Section 211 Notice'. The purpose for this is to give the planning authority an opportunity to consider whether a TPO should be made in respect of the tree or trees. 


Anyone who carries out such works without giving a section 211 notice or before the expiry of the six week period is guilty of an offence. 



I've submitted a 'Section 211 Notice'. What happens next?

You may receive a letter stating that your notice is being inspected to confirm that it is a valid notification i.e. that it contains sufficient information to determine. Not all planning authorities do this.


Around six weeks after submission you may receive a letter from the planning authority, informing that they have no objection to the works. You must only do the work that you informed them about!  You would be committing an offence if you felled a tree that you informed them you intended to prune.


Within the six week period, you may be served a Tree Preservation Order. The authorities opinion is that the tree is significant to the amenity of the area and its removal (or the pruning specified) would be detrimental. Once the order is served, no works may be carried out without the consent of the authority (apart from certain excemptions included in Part VIII of the Town & Country Planning Act, 1990 -as amended, and in the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation)(England) Regulations 2012)

 

After six weeks, assuming that the notification was therefore valid, the works may be carried out UNLESS  you have been served a TPO. 



My tree is protected/in a Conservation Area. Can 'Mad About Trees Ltd' submit/apply on my behalf? 
If our quotation for the tree work is accepted, we will undertake all necessary applications or submissions on your behalf, free of charge.


An Application Submission Fee, of £50.00 + Vat will be charged if;

  • After receiving 'Consent' another tree work contractor is employed to do the works.
  • Consented works are not undertaken at all, i.e. the owner changes their mind.


No fee is charged if;

  • the application is refused. (our applications are normally agreed/consented)
  • part of an application involving a number of trees is refused. The probabilities of a refusal will be discussed pre-application.



How much does an application cost?
Currently there is no fee payable, to the planning authority, for Treework Applications or Section 211 Notices.



How long does the application take?

Conservation Area notifications: Six weeks after submission, unless a TPO is served.


TPO applications: The Local Authority have eight weeks to determine the application. If after eight weeks, no decision has been made an appeal may be made to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of 'Non-Determination' i.e the authority hasn't answered or decided the application. The appeal process may take three or more further months.


Some LA's are more efficient than others at determining applications!


What happens if my Application is 'Refused'?

​An Appeal may be made to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn the local authorities decision. Mad About Trees Ltd will submit this, free of charge, if we believe that there is a high probability of a successful resolution. Appeals are subject to the same charging conditions as 'applications'.

 




GENERAL QUESTIONS




When's the best time to prune my tree?

It is generally recommended that decidous tree species, those that lose their leaves in winter, are pruned while dormant - avoiding the period where buds are swelling and about to open. When the sap is rising in spring some species 'bleed sap, particularly sycamore and birch, which although unsightly is seldom harmful or fatal in a vigorously growing tree.


Some species are recommended to prune in late summer; walnut and magnolia, as 'healing' is quicker.


Prunus species; cherry, almond & plum, should ideally be pruned in April-July to avoid infection by the fungus Chondrostereum purpureum, which causes Silver Leaf disease, where this disease is endemic. 


In healthy trees it is often not so much the time of pruning as the degree or extent of pruning that is important. Excessive pruning, removing too large a percentage of the canopy, can be harmful to the trees health and often results in such vigorous regrowth (epicormic shoots) that the original purpose of pruning is not achieved.




Can I plant another tree in the same place as the one being removed?

Stump-grinding may allow replanting in exactly the same position, but consideration should be given to nutrient and mineral deficiencies present in the soil after an established tree has been removed.


Do we need a power supply?

Only for the kettle, should you wish to supply refreshments to the work-force!