Ipswich trees overhanging a public footpath – addressing the legal clearance height

House owners are probably not aware of the legal regulations regarding trees that overhang public spaces, and the need as an owner to make sure a tree has a specific minimum head clearance. The regulated height clearance is 2.5m, and the owner of a tree is responsible for making sure the tree is fulfilling the legal requirements.

The project

As a standard practice, if a tree in a private area is found to overhang a public area, the local council is very likely to write to the owner of the tree to ask that the tree is trimmed accordingly, in line with regulations. This was exactly the case with this particular tree. The tree owner received the statutory letter and then contacted our Elite Trees as one of Ipswich's prominent Tree Surgeons to get the necessary work done to comply with regulations.

When you work in public areas, health and safety compliance is essential. In this case, our work meant we needed to trim a tree that overhung a public footpath. Although the path wasn’t regularly used, it did require us to make sure the public was fully aware of the work being undertaken.

Our team put in the necessary infrastructure to carry out the work safely. We trimmed the tree back to provide a 2.5-metre height clearance over the public footpath, using our Pole Saws, which provided us with a flexible approach, should members of the public wish to access the pathway.

The outcome

The final outcome was a perfectly trimmed tree, happy client and a few boxes ticked by health and safety at Ipswich council. When you own trees it is always worth bearing in mind, you are solely responsible for those trees. This mainly comes to attention when they overhang public areas.