In October 2017 we were contacted by an elderly Staffordshire resident in connection with a silver birch tree in her front garden. She had previously applied to her local authority for permission to have the tree removed, but because it was subject to a TPO (Tree Preservation Order) permission had been refused.
As well as having damaged a nearby drain, she believed that the roots of the tree were also damaging the path leading to her house and could be in danger of damaging her house itself. Due to her age, and the fact she often had visitors with limited vision, the situation was of great concern to her.
Residential / TPO / Legal
We visited our client to conduct an arboricultural report on the silver birch and to assess whether it was indeed responsible for causing damage to its surroundings.
We were able to ascertain that the roots of the tree had lifted her block-paved pathway and had also started to crack the tarmac of the public pavement. Furthermore, we observed some cracks below a bedroom window which could be attributed to tree roots, and noted that the tree’s overhanging canopy had potential to damage the roof.
Left unaddressed, the damage the tree had caused would only get worse.
After reviewing paperwork pertaining to the Tree Preservation Order we found that it had been issued forty years earlier and, contrary to best practice guidelines, had not been reviewed in that time. We also noticed some discrepancies in the legal document, suggesting that the TPO may not be legally enforceable.
After presenting our findings to the local authority, they overturned their previous decision, and finally granted our client permission to remove the tree. We were then able to recommend a reputable tree surgeon to carry out the work.
Damage caused to the block paving and pavement