According to the Forestry Commission:
“Where a tree shows external evidence of decay or structural weakness the owner of the land on which it stands is normally liable for any damage it causes by breaking or falling. The courts expect owners to inspect their trees regularly and obtain specialist guidance on interpretation of symptoms and assessment of tree safety. Before having any work carried out to trees always check with the local planning authority to see if any planning restrictions (eg TPO or Conservation Area) are in force.”
There are signs, however, that landowners and homeowners are becoming more aware of these responsibilities, as evidenced by an increasing number of requests for general safety surveys of trees in mature gardens.
It is usually advisable to have trees inspected annually by a qualified arboriculturist, although in some cases, every 2 or 3 years may be sufficient.
A JCA Tree Safety Report will include all the necessary information for a prudent tree owner to manage his/her trees effectively, without risk to themselves.