The decision to purchase a property may not come with trees as an influencing factor. However, when the trees start to get overgrown or appears sick you will have to consider the regulatory status which may affect your ability to prune, fell or remove them.
First and foremost, the owner of the tree must be determined and this is the individual who owns the land on which the tree was originally planted. However, if you’re not the owner but the tree overhangs your land you’re allowed to cut the branches back up to the boundary, if the tree is unprotected. In such cases, you normally do not need to seek the consent of the original tree owner or neighbouring land owner to perform the works to the tree. But the branches and fruits on them ( if any) still remains that of the land owner and they’re to be returned to them if necessary.
In situations whereby you’re the owner of the tree, you’re required to determine whether or not your tree is protected by a Tree Protection Order ( TPO) before any action can be taken. The main goal of a Tree Protection Order is to provide protection to trees which are considered to deliver amenity values to the general public. In other words, if your tree can be viewed by the public and enjoyed from outside your garden’s confines then there’s a high possibility that it’s subjected to a TPO.
To confirm whether or not your tree is subjected to a TPO, you can check with your local planning authority (LPA). However, there are some local council websites that displays all TPOs registered within their jurisdiction.