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Nuisance Issues

The County Council is not legally obliged to address other nuisance issues relating to trees and as such, is unable to respond immediately to such enquiries. You may register a concern regarding a nuisance issue, however, this will be logged against the tree in question and considered only when the next safety inspection is carried out. When appropriate, the tree officer will recommend remedial work but in some cases we will be unable to undertake work particularly when it is likely to be detrimental to the health and long term potential of the tree.
A range of nuisance issues are listed below.  (Please click on links for further information) : -

Tree “too tall”
Trees grow naturally to substantial heights and if healthy, possess adequate mechanical properties to support themselves. Structural collapse may only occur if the tree posses a physiological weakness or in extreme gale conditions. The practice of ‘topping’ or height reduction, provides a desired visible result but is extremely harmful and damaging to tree health. (See Link Topping and Lopping(PDF Document 8.61KB)
Shade or loss of light
Tolerance of shade and requirements for light is a personal and subjective matter and whilst some people prefer and enjoy shade, others desire direct sunlight. There is no legal right to light and a tree owner is not obliged to prune a tree to provide light to a neighbouring property. In some extreme circumstances (e.g. tree close to property, windows south facing, etc) our forestry staff may recommend remedial work to increase light penetration into a property.      
Leaf litter, fruits and other debris
Trees shed leaves and other debris as a natural process at various times of the year. Very little can be done to effectively reduce this as most forms of pruning stimulate re-growth and the issue very quickly returns. The accumulation of debris from a tree does not constitute a legal nuisance under British law. However, if the accumulation of debris causes an obstruction to public footpaths or pavements, this can be reported to the street cleansing unit of your local District Council.   
Satellite/TV reception
The County Council, or any other tree owner, is not legally required to remove or prune a tree to improve TV reception to a third party. Furthermore, the purchase of a TV licence, satellite dish or other form of receiver does not give an individual the legal right to TV reception.
Pruning or tree removal to improve TV reception would have a significant detrimental impact to the environment in Leicestershire and it is unrealistic to expect a tree owner to take responsibility for another party’s TV reception. When considering options for TV reception, customers are advised to note tree cover in the locality, take advice from TV engineers as to options and equipment available and select the most appropriate TV reception source.
Honeydew deposits
Honeydew deposits during the summer months are produced by aphids which feed on the leaves of trees. Heavy infestations of these insects can create significant deposits of honeydew which will fall on anything under the tree and drift in the wind. This feeding activity is a natural process and there is no practical treatment which will control insect numbers or prevent honeydew secretion. The County Council is not legally obliged to clean honeydew deposits from adjoining property. If cars or caravans are affected, customers are advised to consider, garaging, covering, regular cleaning or alternative parking away from the tree.
Pollen and allergies
Many hay fever and allergy sufferers are affected by grass pollen which is prevalent throughout the summer months.
Tree pollen can affect some sufferers but this is produced throughout a much shorter period. The production of pollen is a natural process and there is no legal obligation for a tree owner to prevent the production and spread of pollen.
Roosting Birds and droppings  
Trees provide a valuable habitat for birds particularly for nesting and roosting. There are no tree management techniques available to effectively reduce roosting activities apart from the removal of a tree. This would be unacceptable in environmental terms and not an option the County Council would consider. If you are troubled by roosting activities and droppings, valued items under the tree should, where possible, be re-located. The positioning of a predatory decoy (e.g a bird of prey) can sometimes deter the roosting of large numbers of birds.    

Page Last Updated: 17 February 2015