FAQs


Tree Care

My tree needs pruning. What should I do?

If your tree needs pruning you should check that the tree is not covered by a tree preservation order or in a conservation area before carrying out the following:

  • Crown reduction, an overall reduction in the size of the crown
  • Crown lifting, which is the removal of branches from ground level to a specified height, producing a clear stem. Removal of
  • Branches bigger than a third of the tree stem can create a weakness on the tree, so are best avoided.
  • Crown thinning, which is the thinning of the overall canopy of the tree by no more than 20 per cent. The tree will remain
  • The same size but the canopy will allow more light and wind to penetrate.
  • Deadwooding, which is removing the deadwood from a tree and this can be beneficial. But in woodlands or veteran trees,
  • Leaving deadwood as a habitat is better as long as it doesn’t pose a safety risk.
  • You can contact us here at Appleyard Tree Care for expert advice and work to prune your trees.

When should I prune my tree?

Trees prefer to be pruned when dormant (November to February). Certain species, such as cherry, should be pruned in the summer. Avoid the period when the tree is coming out of the dormant period. Incorrect pruning during late March, April and May can cause ‘bleeding’ where the rising sap weeps from the tree, disrupting its natural balance and causing stress. We are happy to visit your tree and provide further advice.

Neighbour’s Trees

My neighbour's trees encroach over my boundary. Can I cut them back?

Your common law rights allow you to remove branches that cross over your boundary, without your neighbour’s permission. However, you must not cross the boundary to do so. For example, leaning a ladder over the boundary to rest against the trunk of the tree could be classed as trespass. We advise you to notify your neighbour of your intentions before your tree surgeon arrives. If a tree is protected by a tree preservation order or located within a conservation area, the common law right is removed and you will need to ask the council for permission before undertaking any work.


My neighbours have a very large hedge. What can I do about it?

New legislation allows the council to consider complaints about high hedges under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Visit the Communities and Local Government website for further information.

Tree Roots

I am worried that tree roots are damaging my property. What should I do?

Tree roots may cause direct damage or indirect damage. Direct damage is when the physical expansion of roots lift paving stones and crack walls. Due to the weight of a house, no amount of physical expansion will affect it, but garden walls and small structures (garages, outbuildings) may be at risk. Indirect damage is when large structures (houses) which are sited on clay soils can be affected by a tree’s removal of moisture and this can lead to subsidence. Contact us at Appleyard Tree Care or another experienced and NPTC qualified tree surgeon for help.


Tree roots are blocking my drains. What can I do?

It is unusual for roots to break drains and associated pipe work. However, if an old pipe with poor joints is leaking into the surrounding soil this will attract roots, which will then exploit the existing weakness. Replacement of faulty drains/pipes with modern materials will usually eliminate the leak and stop problems from happening again.

Tree Planting

Are there any controls on the type of tree I can plant in my garden?

No, but you should consider the following:

  • How much space is available? It is always best to make sure there is enough room for the tree to grow.
  • Are there any overhead wires or obstructions?
  • Where is the tree in relation to the property?
  • A new tree to the south or west may block afternoon or evening sun. A tree to the north will not restrict direct light.

Tree Safety

I think my tree is dead. Can I remove it?

Any protected tree (with a TPO) that is dead, dying or dangerous can be removed without submitting an application. However, the onus of proof rests with the owner. If you plan to remove such a tree, we advise you to contact your local council’s tree officer. They will make a site visit to check that the tree is dead.


Will the council accept responsibility for my tree if I am not allowed to cut it down and then it causes damage to my neighbour's property?

If the council refuses permission to fell a protected tree, it has been assessed and deemed safe at the time of application. However, trees do change over time and they are the responsibility of the landowner regardless of any tree preservation order. If you are worried about the condition of your tree and feel it may pose a risk, contact Appleyard Tree Care in Sevenoaks who will advise you on what you may remove from the tree to make it safe.


My tree drops a sticky substance. What can I do about it?

Some trees are susceptible to aphids that feed on the sap through veins on the leaves. There is very little that can be done and spraying is often not practical. The sugar solution is only a mild one and should not affect paintwork on cars, if the car is washed at regular intervals. Regular washing will also help to prevent a growth of sooty mould on the sugar solution deposits which can develop over time.


My tree has a fungus growing on it. Does this make the tree unsafe?

Some trees are susceptible to aphids that feed on the sap through veins on the leaves. There is very little that can be done and spraying is often not practical. The sugar solution is only a mild one and should not affect paintwork on cars, if the car is washed at regular intervals. Regular washing will also help to prevent a growth of sooty mould on the sugar solution deposits which can develop over time.


How can I tell if my tree is safe?

Such assessments are best made by a qualified expert. Call Appleyard Tree Care for Bromley on 01959 532212


About Us


Are you insured?

Yes. We are comprehensively insured with £5m public liability.


Where do you work?

We’re based in Kent and primarily cover the following areas: Sevenoaks, Orpington, Bromley, Biggin Hill and Westerham. To check if we cover your area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.


Can I get a free quote?

Yes. Please get in touch and we can arrange to visit your property to inspect your trees and give you a quotation for the work required.

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Contact Us

Find out more about any of our services, please use any of the contact details below or complete our form on the contact page:

Telephone: 01959 532212 (office line - Knockholt)
Out of hours/emergency: 07776 220486
Email: info@appleyardtreecare.co.uk