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.



Kara Proud - Customer

Brilliant workers, very knowledgeable and extremely hard working, polite and left the garden spotless. Time keeping excellent & they do not stop! Have booked for more work to be done now and continually throughout the year. Very highly recommended company.

Peter Rodwell - Customer

Elite carried out both fencing and tree work for us. The fencing work consisted of approximately 50 metres of new fencing and the removal of a 15m high Holly tree along with stump grinding ready for fresh planting during the spring. Really happy with the final result the team were friendly and made sure everything was left tidy afterwards. Work was competitively priced and clearly a professional business.

Nikki Zenonos - Customer

Elite Trees replaced my rear fence for me. They were very efficient and friendly from the quoting stage all the way through to finishing the job. Fence looks great and I would not hesitate in recommending them.

Doreen Fulton- Customer

I had a large conifer cut down yesterday, and am very pleased with the work carried out .It was right up the corner near a fence it was cut down everything taken away and left tidy by three very hard working polite men .So I can highly recommend this service.

Anonymous- Customer

All of the guys were really friendly and helpful, and did an excellent job clearing up as well. We are very pleased with the outcome. It has and will continue to make so much difference to us. I understand that my neighbours are similarly impressed.

Anonymous- Customer

Dear Paul, many thanks. They did a super job. I was most impressed. And great to have saved the half day. Looking forward to seeing them again for stage II next month. Please thank all 3 of them!

Anonymous- Customer

Hi Paul, we were impressed with your professional and friendly approach and in the light of that we are happy to proceed!

Anonymous- Customer

Hi Paul, thank you for the excellent work done on Tuesday, the guys cleaned up after and did a grand job.

Anonymous- Customer

Dear Mr Thomas, thank you and your team for an exemplary job with which we are very satisfied. With the multi-stemmed Ash removed, we have been able to see the wood for the trees, so to speak. To avoid unnecessary constraints on future planting, we have decided to have the stump(s) ground out and I understand that you will arrange for that in the near future and look forward to hearing further from you.

Anonymous- Customer

Hi Paul, Thank you for again an excellent job carried out by your company in the removal of our hedge.

Anonymous- Customer

Hi Paul Many thanks for the finished job which looks great.

Anonymous- Customer

Good afternoon Paul Just to let you know your tree surgeons have just left and we are thrilled with the results.They were both very professional and respectful and we appreciated their caution at this time. We would certainly recommend Elite to others and were pleased that we found you on Which Trusted Traders.

Anonymous- Customer

Just a note to thank the onsite team for the excellent work carried out behind our property last Friday. All of the guys were really friendly and helpful, and did an excellent job clearing up as well. We are very pleased with the outcome. It has and will continue to make so much difference to us. I understand that my neighbours are similarly impressed.

Anonymous- Customer

Would like to say that the two guys who came to tackle felling of the Robinia here at my home have done an excellent job, making it all appear so easy

Graham B- Customer

A very professional and friendly service used to remove a very large conifer hedge with all debris removed and the site left very tidy. Wouldn't hesitate in recommending.