When to Cut Tree’s Down UK?

When to cut or prune tree’s down in the UK?

Trees should be cut down from November to march during late autumn to early spring in the UK, when the leaves have fallen. The reason for this is because most trees are dormant currently, meaning they’re alive but not actively growing.

1. Tree Dormancy: This dormancy ensures that cutting during this period won’t harm the tree’s new growth, as it hasn’t yet begun.

2. Temperature Matters: Lower temperatures during November to march means the tree’s growth is halted for now. This minimizes the risk of triggering new growth prematurely, which can be damaging.  

3. Avoiding Damage: Cutting trees during their dormant phase reduces the chances of causing lasting damage or shortening a tree’s lifespan, as improper pruning at other times can lead to problems.

Understanding Tree Cutting Laws

You should be aware that there are legal aspects of tree cutting in the UK. Tree Preservation orders & Conservation areas protect trees and woodlands from being damaged with permission from the local councils. We will address some of the important factors of tree cutting laws down below.

Permission for tree cutting

  • If you own a property with trees solely in your garden, you generally don’t need permission to cut them down, unless they are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or Conservation Area designation.
  • Renters must obtain permission from their landlord before cutting down trees on rented property grounds. Tenants should also check with the local council if the tree has a Tree Preservation Order before felling.
  • Branches overhanging neighbouring properties are still owned by the tree owner, making them responsible for any damage caused. Neighbours are legally allowed to cut overhanging branches to boundary point. Must first check if there is a TPO on the tree.

Tree Felling License

  • Outside private gardens, felling trees may require permission from the Local council.
  • Thinning woodlands often come with conditions for replanting or maintenance.

Consider Wildlife Impact

• It is recommended for you to wait till winter months to ensure there are no wildlife present on your trees or hedges. As this would go against the wildlife & countryside act 1981.

Nesting Bird Protection

  • The bird nesting season runs from March 1st to July 31st. During this time, it’s essential to avoid disturbing nests or eggs when working near trees and hedges.
  • A visual survey should be conducted before work to ensure no nesting birds are present. Following these guidelines ensures minimal disturbance to both wildlife and your project.

Neighbours tree overhanging your property

  • Then it is best practice to first discuss this with your neighbour to see if you can come to a solution without involving any legal professionals.
  • By law, branches you cut off still belong to the tree’s owner. Ask your neighbor if they want them back or if you can dispose of them properly.
  • The same principle applies to fruit on overhanging branches; legally, it belongs to your neighbor.


In conclusion, understanding the best times for tree cutting and the legal aspects of tree management ensures not only the well-being of your trees but also compliance with relevant regulations. Always approach tree cutting and pruning with care, consideration for wildlife, and respect for your neighbors’ rights and property. If you’re unsure about the legal requirements or the best time for tree cutting, consulting a professional tree felling service is a wise choice.