We get asked many questions and this FAQ should help you with some of the more common questions we get asked.
If you cannot find an answer to your question below please do not hesitate to email us and will will answer any questions you may have.
Although commonly discussed together at Hunton Arborists and Landscapes Ltd we like to consider TPOs and conservation areas as separate entities. It is important to highlight at the start that both of these conditions do not completely prevent you from doing work to your trees – you simply need permission for a TPO or to inform the council and given them time to raise objections in a conservation zone.
TPOs are orders placed on trees and hedgerows in England by local authorities. These prohibit anyone – including owners of the land and hence technically the tree – from doing any work without prior consent with very few exceptions. This does not mean work cannot be done it just means you have to apply for permission. Once a tree works application is submitted the council will make a decision, usually within 4-6 weeks. Three things can then happen – the work is permitted; the work is permitted with conditions; the work is refused. If permission is refused the best course of action is to ascertain why by contacting the local tree officer, if this does not resolve it then a formal appeal can be made.
To carry out work on trees in conservation areas (CAs) the owner must inform the council of their intention 6 weeks prior to doing the work. The council will then decide whether to raise an objection. The council can apply for a TPO to be placed on a tree meaning any work carried out will be illegal. We advise that if the council has not returned a decision within 6 weeks then work should not commence until their position is confirmed. Appeals can be made in the same way as TPOs.
With both TPOs and CAs the responsibility to check if there are any restrictions lies with the person carrying out the works. This applies even if you instruct a company to do the work for you. The contractor and the tree owner can both be prosecuted. Here at Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we check all tree works before starting for TPO, conservation area and other restrictions (usually planning restrictions on new builds – same process is required as per TPOs).
Please note the above is for information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you ever have any doubts you must raise them with your contractor or the local authority before commencing any work.
Trees near buildings are a commonly encountered scenario by us at Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd. Most of these trees will cause no damage but we understand that they can become a nuisance either with worry, troublesome roots blocking drains and lifting patios, branches or debris hitting buildings or blocking guttering and, in rare cases, potential structural damage to your property.
In most cases we advise that the best course of action is prevention. By this we mean keeping the tree small and well-maintained and planning planting of new trees with the future in mind. Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd will happily visit to discuss options to maintain existing specimens or advise on type and position of trees as part of a planting plan – this will take into consideration the best species for the job.
The topic of subsidence and heave is complex and therefore we advise if you are concerned about either of these issues you contact us directly via the contact us section of this website or speak to a structural surveyor.
Rest assured with Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd you are receiving a specialist service. Unfortunately however things can go wrong. Fortunately this is rare. We provide all of our clients with a cover note of our public liability insurance with our free, no obligation quote along with our detailed terms and conditions so that you know exactly what to expect and where you stand.
This is a difficult question to answer quickly as the short answer is it depends on the type of tree, where you live and what you want done! Most trees are best pruned when dormant (i.e. in winter) but minor works may be best carried out in the Summer time for a variety of reasons – contact Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd to find out what is best for your trees.
With regards to some more specific rules we have some general examples below.
Deciduous trees (i.e. those that lose leaves in winter) are usually best pruned in Autumn or Winter after the leaves have dropped and before the buds start to appear.
Common British deciduous trees that deviate from this rule are magnolia and walnut trees which are best pruned in late summer as healing is quicker. Birch trees which should not be pruned in late Winter (or early Spring) as at this time they are prone to heavy sap bleeding. Also be wary of stone fruits and prunus tree species – this is because these trees are very susceptible to silver leaf fungal diseases that thrive in cold and wet environments.
Evergreen trees can generally be trimmed throughout the year however once the green has been removed that area of the tree will not grow back (in some cases this may be overcome by other growth filling in the gaps!). Not cutting past the green is particularly important in conifer species.
This answer barely scratches the surface of tree pruning so if in any doubt contact Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd for more information and a free quote today.
This depends. If there are any nesting birds living (or suspected to be living) in the tree or hedge in question then these should not be disturbed in nesting season which runs from February to the end of August. It is therefore recommended that work is avoided where possible during this time. However at Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we will survey your trees and hedges in the week running up to any planned work (and we ask if you can do the same as you spend more time looking at them!) and advise on a case by case basis.
For tree surgery, hedging and turfing work we will not need access to any electricity as all of our equipment runs on petrol (or elbow grease!).
For landscaping and fencing this depends but we will always advise if this is likely to be necessary before you accept our quotes.
This is really up to you. We can provide references from previous clients if required as we understand not wanting strangers traipsing around your garden!
There are some situations that we request an adult is present at certain points in the work. The main area this is important is in tree and hedge reductions so you can decide with us where we cut your tree or hedge down to. We will advise you on a case by case basis whether this is necessary and will always work with you to provide the most suitable date possible.
Our preferred method of payment is by online/BACS transfer within 7 days of receipt of our invoice that will be sent after the work is completed or in the case of pre-payment when the quote is accepted. We can also accept cash or cheque payments made out to Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd – these are payable in full on the day of the work. We do not currently have the facilities to accept card payments.
We only charge upfront costs when we are required to purchase materials or if you are having a lot of work done.
For any jobs that require prior purchase of materials (e.g. planting, fencing or landscaping works) we request that full payment for this portion of the work is received before any orders will be placed. If you cancel after an order is placed we will do our best to obtain a refund however if this is not possible then this will be completely non-refundable. If we can obtain a refund then you will receive this back minus a 20% service charge.
For larger jobs (over £1500) we request a 20% deposit is made before we come to do the work. If you have to cancel, provided we receive a minimum of 5 working days notice then this will be refunded in full. Cancellation after 5 working days (unless in proven exceptional circumstances) will render the 20% deposit non-refundable. Obviously if the date becomes unsuitable then we will work with you to rearrange.
We are usually booked around 4 weeks in advance, however during winter this can be longer. We therefore advise if you do want to proceed with a quote that you let us know as soon as possible (we have the facilities to book up to 12 months in advance to avoid disappointment). If you have a more emergent job then at Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we will do what we can to fit you in whilst minimising disruption to already booked clients.
We always advise that if you are concerned about your neighbour’s trees you speak to them first as at Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we find that most concerns are sorted after doing this. Legally you are allowed to trim your neighbour’s trees, hedges or shrubs that overhang your property back to your boundary line – provided they are not protected (e.g. by a TPO). You can do this yourself or instruct a contractor to do it for you. At Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we always try to work with both parties to reach an amicable agreement – and we do usually manage to achieve this! If your neighbour provides us with written permission we will carry out work on their trees beyond the boundary line on your behalf but please note that you will have to pay for this unless you work something out with your neighbour directly.
At Hunton Arborists & Landscapes Ltd we always try to work with both parties when erecting a fence. We do this by marking out the area to be fenced using a string line and getting both parties written agreement where necessary. In cases that are highly disputed we advise that you contact the Land Registry or other relevant body to resolve the issue before the work is carried out. We will help where possible but will not get involved with heated boundary disputes.