Next B B Project

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by NigelJ, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    Right as I said new thread to cover this new project.
     
  2. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    Bit of history.
    At one time there was a large estate with a "Big House". You can still see some Scots pines that sat stood near it, you can also see good solid cemented stone gate posts in the nature reserve close by. Then the owner died and as death duties were high a large part of the land was sold for housing. The people in the "Big House" had a shelter belt planted so they didn't have to see the new houses. This would have been in the 1960s; soon after this the rest of the land was sold for housing (another death and more taxes I think). the "Big House" was demolished, some of the Scots pine are still there though.
    The local council in it's ineffable wisdom slapped an area TPO on the shelter belt, this was in1976. My house was completed in 1984, complete with 20-30 trees running along one side of the property.
    My house has the largest garden on the state because of the TPO, the council refused to let Wimpey cut the trees down, to access what became my garden. After three planning applications were turned down, they just settled for my property having a large garden
    I bought the property in 1997 and got a tree surgeon to write a report on the trees and I submitted this with an application to remove the trees to the local council, their response was of the over our dead bodies type.
    Since then I have removed one larch that developed a severe lean after a gale and had permission to remove a number of individual branches over hanging the house and the garage and another few have been pruned by gales. I also dug out the stumps of trees that had been removed previously.
    Twenty years have passed and some of the trees are over 60ft tall, throw in the fact that due to health issues I really wouldn't like to have to tackle one or more large branches or trees these days or even dig the stump out and move it.
    So I have decided to get tree surgeons to deal with the major problem ones and the local council.
    Most of the remaining 19 trees are conifers although there is a cluster of 7 or 8 American Red Oaks at one end, 5 in my garden and the rest in the neighbours, of the conifers there is one larch a variety of cupressus and the rest are Sitka Spruce( not really a garden tree).
     
  3. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    P1050079.JPGP1050078.JPGP1050077.JPG
    These pictures give some idea of the size of the trees and proximity to the property and yes the house is about 5 ft lower than the ground where the trees are, closest trees are about 15 ft from the house.
     
  4. Michael Hewett

    Michael Hewett Total Gardener

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    The trees look as if they cast an unpleasant shade over your house.
    What is the project ?
     
  5. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    @Michael Hewett
    The shade is not too bad and quite pleasant on a hot day. It's more of a problem for some of the plants.
    Sorry I completely forgot that didn't I. It is to have the 5 largest, closest confers removed, possibly stumps ground out as well.
     
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    • noisette47

      noisette47 Total Gardener

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      Depending what the penalties are, go for it! Once they're down, there's not a lot anyone can do about it. If the council insisted that you replace the trees, at least you could choose more suitable species. With current legislation about planting distances from houses, I wouldn't think that's likely, though.
       
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      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        @noisette47 Penalties can be a £20000 fine in a magistrates court or unlimited fine in a Crown court.
        Last time I had permission to remove one the council insisted I replant with a Sitka spruce. I bought half dozen (least I could buy) and all were dead within 5 years. Council do not appear to check on replacement or survival of the same. TPO only covers trees about the diameter of a tea cup and more.
        I am getting quotes from tree surgeons so they can deal with the council and the planning permission sorted out.
         
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          Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
        • Loofah

          Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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          I feel your pain. I have a band of woodland left over from when they developed the area many years ago, all with a blanket TPO. It's such an embuggerance to get anything done!
           
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          • NigelJ

            NigelJ Total Gardener

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            I have mixed feelings about the TPO:
            On the plus side it means I have a large garden, the trees support plenty of wildlife, crows, magpies, squirrels and plenty of smaller finches and other birde. They also mean I have less issues with seagulls
            On the down side a third of it is full of, in effect, someone elses trees, that drop leaves, needles and the occasional branch.
            I would like councils to be more proactive with regard to TPOs and I think there should be regular reassesment, every 10 years say, of TPOs to see if they should be updated or removed to keep up with changes in legislation etc.
             
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            • Loofah

              Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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              Completely agree. I don't mind the trees as such but I'd also like to be able to manage them a bit better. These are all oaks, some are lopsided (branches all one side) which to my mind makes them unbalanced and a greater risk. Should such a density of trees be continued or should they be thinned out for general plant health? Seem clear to me but try getting the council to agree!
               
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              • noisette47

                noisette47 Total Gardener

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                I wonder if a large part of the problem is that you're both dealing with councils, civil servants, who don't have the foggiest idea about trees, their maintenance or anything else vegetable-related. That's certainly the case here. Maybe in UK they consult qualified tree surgeons? Maybe not. The bottom line, though, is that if they're seen to be condoning removal of large numbers of mature trees, they'll have the ecolos on their backs, and probably local press and media stirring things up.
                I feel for you both! We avoided buying an existing property with an 'established' garden for this very reason.
                 
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                • pete

                  pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                  The council here is probably the worst for destroying large trees.

                  Any above a certain height seems to be considered dangerous and gets the top cut off.
                   
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                  • Loofah

                    Loofah Well used member Staff Member

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                    Yes and no. They have one decent arboreal specialist but as a scarce resource he's very poorly understood or deployed . And council managed so completely wasted!
                     
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                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      TPO's are overused, misused and misunderstood. The intentions are good, but the application (like most things left to local councils or government) is shockingly bad. Some years back, I was involved in a project for a new bus stand at a Sainsburys store. Sainsburys were absolutely top notch in terms of agreeing to having it at the entrance to their car park and even held out the olive branch to drivers needing to use the loo (they ain't daft, they know that means a sandwich and a bottle of coke will be bought at the least) - - over 10 years there was back and forth with the council regarding removal of trees; in the end, one tree was left standing with a TPO. All its neighbours were removed (pretty sure it is a London Plane tree, but could be wrong); as a result, the bus stand could not accommodate a parked bus and allow another to pass due to insufficient room, which threw a proper spanner in the works in terms of how we have to schedule things (costs tens of thousands more than it should every year believe it or not!); over 10 years. Just nuts.
                       
                    • Sheal

                      Sheal Total Gardener

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                      What was the approximate height of the trees when you moved there Nigel? The fact that they are 5ft above your house level and just 15ft from it should have some pulling power with the council now. I would say taking that into account, they have become a danger to yourself and your home - bearing in mind they are shallow rooted too.
                       
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