The rules for cutting down trees on a build as explained by a lawyer

Man with a chainsaw sawing up a felled tree
(Image credit: Witthaya Prasongsin / Getty Images)

Unsurprisingly, there's more to cutting down a tree if it is in the way of your build than just revving up the chainsaw. Whilst in many cases you don't need special permissions or permits to remove a tree on your property, there are occasions where stricter rules apply.

Cutting down a tree, whether for garden design or building work isn't something to do on a whim. Aside from the environmental considerations, trees play a vital role in the health of our planet, Sarah adds that, "trees are permanent and you can’t ‘unremove’ one if you realise you’ve done something you shouldn’t have done."

Sarah Dodd headshot
Sarah Dodd

Sarah is a self-confessed ‘tree-hugging lawyer’! As a lawyer specialising in claims arising from damage caused by trees, whether that is tree root subsidence, tree failure, breach of tree preservation orders or damage, and loss of CAVAT value. Sarah is passionate about working with clients to change how claims are run to make sure people and trees can live in harmony. 

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Teresa Conway
Deputy editor on Homebuilding & Renovating

Teresa was part of a team that launched Easy Gardens in 2018 and worked as the Editor on this magazine. She has extensive experience writing and editing content on gardens and landscaping on brands such as Homes & Gardens, Country Homes & Interiors and Living Etc magazine. She has developed close working relationships with top landscape architects and leading industry experts, and has been exposed to an array of rich content and expertise.

In 2020 Teresa bought her first home. She and her partner worked alongside architects and builders to transform the downstairs area of her two bedroom Victorian house in north London into a usable space for her family. Along the way she learned the stresses, woes and joys of home renovation, and is now looking to her next project, landscaping the back garden.