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Tree recovery from roundup damage


I'm looking for some advise on a rather difficult situation.

Our neighbour has a rather large poplar tree approx. 20m from our garden. Last your without knowing I manage to damaged the roots of the tree. I had no idea they belonged to their tree. I assumed where from our garden from old trees, they didn't look like roots and where sprouting. Anyway to cut a story short I drilled and poured roundup into some of these roots and as a result part of the tree has suffered damage. Two large branches have misshapen leaves, a couple with none, though 60% of the tree is in good health. Damage is on one side as per roots in my garden.

Currently our neighbour is demanding we remove the tree and stump, replant and carry out any remedial works to put the garden right. As this is not a small tree this will costs thousands.

Understandable to is concerned about the safety, though sentiment is driving this I believe (I would be annoyed if someone damaged my tree).

The tree has been stable for several months now, though its now not the prettiest and the damaged branches appear to be sprouting, the rest of the tree appears to be in good condition.

I understand that trees are very capable to recover from herbicide damage, particularly is damage is halted and there is indication of new growth. I maybe completely wrong, but it seems a bit drastic to remove the tree at this stage without giving it a chance.

I'm assuming a tree condition report would help? How much do these cost?
And perhaps some pruning to ensure the tree is safe.

Am I just being hopeful or should the tree just be removed?

No telling off please as I'm fully aware of the silly mistake! And to put salt on the wound the tree has a TPO! I'm hoping the council are going to be lenient as I think they know it wasn't wilful destruction.

Any advice would be most appreciated?



Actually warning to all! :)

Don't get involved with TPO trees and be very careful what you try and pull out of the garden because if you belongs to your neighbour and your neighbour is not your best friend you'll be out of pocket big time without a leg to stand on.

All got sorted and I moved. :)

11 Answers from MyBuilder Tree Surgeons

Best Answer

If it has a tpo on it it cannot just be removed without the written consent of your local planning department,your best bet is to talk to your local planning department an see what they say.personally think you neighbour is being a tad unreasonable and looking to get his garden landscaped for free.
Good luck Alex


Answered 11th Oct 2017

Hire a reputable arborist to survey the trees structural and internal health. Regarding the Tree protection order It's your neighbours tree so let them sort the paperwork out


Answered 1st Nov 2017

Hire a local arborist to survey the tree and get their opinion on the tree


Answered 19th Dec 2017

Hi, As stated before the tree is TPO so you cant do anything with out the tree officers permission. Ask the tree officer his/her opinion they wont allow any unnecessary work on the tree.


Answered 14th Jan 2018

Hire a local arborist with indemnity insurance to survey the tree then proceed as the law States. The tpo should be dealt with by the owner of the tree.


Answered 28th Jan 2018

Since the tree has a TPO and is close proximity to yours and your neighbours property I would suggest getting a qualified Arborist out to complete a tree health & risk survey, they would be able to advise you on further action and explain your position legally.
Good luck.


Answered 8th Nov 2018

Hire a local arborist to survey the tree


Answered 12th Nov 2018

First port of call is your local tree officer and see what they say, I would definitely do this before paying for any kind of report as the officer may well supply all the answers you would be looking for.
This might also give you a better stance with regards to admitting you made a mistake rather than your neighbour "dobbing" you in.


Answered 26th Nov 2018

Legally I’m not sure how much your required to get involved with this beyond contacting a tree officer to make them aware of accidental damage to a protected tree. It’s then up to them to decide whether the damage caused was reasonable/avoidable and or whether you are liable..
however failing to report the damage could be interpreted badly..

Legally as a home owner you are allowed to maintain any vegetation that crosses or grows inside your boundary.

From what you have said this was an accident and you did not realise it was your neighbours tree and too the best of your knowledge, you were managing unprotected vegetation on your own land.

To anybody in a similar situation the lessons here are to take care with herbicides, and to take care and consideration to and large tree in the vicinity of your house.

Damaging a Protected tree can lead to huge fines. Be careful.


Answered 19th Aug 2020

Roundup never seems to work that well when you are actually trying to kill off the roots, its hard to evaluate the full picture with out actually seeing the damage.
If it has a TPO but the tree is in that bad of a condition that its endangering the public, the council will have to agree to get it done.
First step get someone to assess the tree no point jumping the gun just yet.


Answered 8th Feb 2018

hi i'm sad to hear this has in this case we have this problem all over scotland. i deal with this type of issu on a day to day basis first of has you have said you do not have the right to take it in you're own hands has it is not you're property. and has it is a tpo on iy make matters worse but you will need to get with you're neighbour and come to a agreement on the work to be done. has you have nearly killed the tree in this talk.also has already said you will need to get permission on what will need done to it. and future do not jump the gun speak to you're neighbour about the issu and take it from the're. any further please contact us we have people in the team who can help thanks.


Answered 2nd Feb 2019

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