Look up! It’s time to check your trees!

CLA Cymru Rural Surveyor, Charles De Winton urges tree owners to spot dead branches as trees start to come into leaf
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Inspect your trees before they're in full leaf - to easily identify the dead branches which will rot, may fall and cause damage later in the year - better for the tree's health too

“As trees are beginning to come into leaf, it’s the time to spot dead branches that could cause damage or obstruction,” says Charles de Winton rural surveyor at the CLA. “They’re difficult to spot when the tree’s in full-leaf – and it’s equally difficult to tell dead-branches apart from live-ones after the autumn fall - so now’s the time to inspect every tree. Those which overhang the public highway, footpaths, buildings and vulnerable land – these are the ones which need special attention. A branch which has not produced leaves this year is likely to be dead – by the time autumn comes it will be dry and brittle and is likely to fall.”

“Farmers, landowners and land managers are responsible for managing the trees on their land, the risk to the public who may have the right to pass underneath, and for damage to the public highway or neighbouring properties. This time of year is the best time to inspect trees for their health, and then to plan how-and-when to intervene to manage the risks.”

Charles adds, “National Parks, conservation areas and Tree Preservation Orders all present complications with respect to managing trees. Trees in hedges also present difficulties in compliance with regulations which prevent cutting between March and September to protect nesting birds. However in the interests if safety – notably over public highways – trees may be managed.”

“We recommend liaising with the local authority tree officer or planning department. Through our regional and national offices we can provide advice to members where doubts or issues arise.”