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tats

Canal tree responsibility. Who?

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Who's responsibility is the safe maintenance of trees with foliage overhanging the canal?

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Ultimately the owner of the tree which is the owner of the land where the tree is growing

 

Often that is the navigation authority

 

Even if the navigation authority don't own the land and the tree they will be the people that make themselves responsible to keeping it maintained because they have a duty to keep the navigation open

 

If a tree is dangerous theyn you should report it along with it's location to the navigation authority.

 

Depending on how dangerous they think the situation is they will react by either going in (or sending contractors in) to deal with the issue or place it on a back burner until it rises to the list of priorities along with other things like dredging and lock maintenance etc

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Cheshire Rose is right In practical terms it is the landowner, in reality it is normally CRT. In the case of fallen or dangerous trees that are removed by CRT (Some 900 last year) the cost to CRT was @£500k very little is recovered from the landowner as it would cost more to identify and recover the monies.

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It is my understanding that the owner of the land that the tree is growing on assumes full responsibility for any damage or injury once they have been informed that it is a hazard, or if the condition was otherwise obvious to them.

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Report it to CRT, they will send two or tree fellers  round to clear it. 

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Do we know if the tree(s) actually dangerous though? OP just asked who is responsible for safe maintenance of overhanging trees not that it's actually dangerous. 

 

My experience is CRT will be completely uninterested if it's just the usual overhanging offside vegetation, and will only take an interest if it's actually dangerous and likely to cause serious damage or block the canal. 

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14 hours ago, tats said:

Who's responsibility is the safe maintenance of trees with foliage overhanging the 

It depends, the tree owner has a certain responsibility but i suspect CRT just do what they need.

More information needed to give a more complete answer 

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CRT have a Formal Policy on trees they are responsible for.  In practice their approach appears to be "when it falls over we will get something done"

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A few years ago a  tree, belonging to C&RT fell over and missed my boat by a few feet , at a visitor mooring.

Not only that it narrowly missed two friends who happened to be standing there .  The fallen tree blocked the footpath.  It was a substantial tree .

We notified C&RT and the fallen tree  was cleared the same day, which was good.

However C&RT would not do anything about other trees nearby  that looked like they had a potential to topple.

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7 minutes ago, MartynG said:

A few years ago a  tree, belonging to C&RT fell over and missed my boat by a few feet , at a visitor mooring.

Not only that it narrowly missed two friends who happened to be standing there .  The fallen tree blocked the footpath.  It was a substantial tree .

We notified C&RT and the fallen tree  was cleared the same day, which was good.

However C&RT would not do anything about other trees nearby  that looked like they had a potential to topple.

It would have been an emergency response to clear the fallen tree, it would require additional assessment to identify any other issues, if found that would be routine planned works

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49 minutes ago, BEngo said:

CRT have a Formal Policy on trees they are responsible for.  In practice their approach appears to be "when it falls over we will get something done"

Considering how many trees they have it's actually not completely daft to work relatively. 

To be clear I dont think they actually do, they absolutely do have a programme of survey and works, how effective it is I don't know, don't forget though much of the tree stock actually within falling distance isn't CRTs

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There is an ash tree, an old and massive thing right beside my private mooring  and only a foot from the canal water, and opposite the towpath. I have always been concerned, especially as I could see that big branches had broken off in years before my time there. I hangs not just over my boat, but also the canal. It's a mighty big old thing with high branches weighing tons and tons. Serious stuff of the first order, obvious to anyone. In fact it is chilling. I try to move the boat in gale season. Anyway, a couple of years ago a branch came down. Massive. Missed my boat as it came from the other side of the tree's canopy, and missed my mate's boat by 6 inches and blocked the canal, and we cleared it. I decided to try and get it sorted. I saw two tree surgeons engaged on CRT work. They told me to inform CRT and to be sure to tell them that it is dangerous, then the work will be done quickly. So I rang CRT and told them. They took a note of my call to pass it on to the appropriate department. The appropriate department got back to me saying it had been looked at and needed doing and that they would contact the landowner for permission to do the work, and that everything was in process. The next I heard was from another department, the moorings department, and they said that it wasn't down to CRT and I would have to ask the landowner to do the work. I said that it was dangerous for me and also boaters travelling by as it hung well over half way over the water. To that they said that if I insisted than they would make moves to shut down the whole mooring. So I just left it and wondered how else I could do something. CRT just washed their hands of it and threatened me away. A year later a massive branch fell and hit my mooring and smashed a hole in my boat and broke windows and blocked the canal, which we cleared.

 

So I ask you, is CRT a professional responsible organization, and remember they take a mooring fee of hundreds to moor against private land, and when they have already charged a licence fee for the boat to be on the water. 

 

As an aside, I asked CRT about why they charge a mooring fee when I've already paid to be on the water, and was told that it was like having a car where you have your MOT and insurance and road tax, but then if you want to park you have to pay a car parking fee. I replied that I would if I was on a fee-charging car park, but not if I parked on the road because I'd already paid to be on the public highway. The reply was to forget that car analogy, and would I like the number of another department who might be able to answer. If they would sort dangerous trees I wouldn't mind paying a mooring fee to them, but they don't do anything for the money. It is wrong and unprofessional.

 

Thing is, ok, CRT is relatively new and finding their feet, that's fair enough, BUT it isn't good enough where damage and danger to life is concerned.

 

That tree was dangerous. I told them. They couldn't sort it. Not good enough, no where near. That worries me. Do they know what they are doing? Do they know how to know if work being done is up to scratch and to cost? Do they know the business they are in? Who are they, what is their qualification and experience? I mean, if you can't get that right, it makes you think. I don't have confidence in them. You pay a bill and then they ask you again, and then you tell them you've pad and they say, 'Oh, yes, I can see that now'. And not the first time, in fact it is actually expected. Believe me, I am not a grumbler. I'm too much the opposite for my own good. It takes a lot for me to speak out. It's shocking. Really bad. Needs to change. There is something wrong in the system. Danger should be taken seriously and taken care of...and it wasn't. THAT IS NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD AT ALL.

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Above poster. Why not contact the landowner if it's on the "offside".

  • Greenie 1

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Mark, why not contact CRT. CRT are geared up for it, or should be?. CRT take mooring money.....for what? It was over the canal, over their water. They have a responsibility to canal customers' safety. CRT should be professional and take care of it. I would if I was them. Safety comes first. I would want to take care of it. It would be my pride to get it sorted simple and swift. No this or that. It's just not good enough by a long chalk. 

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13 minutes ago, tats said:

There is an ash tree, an THAT IS NOT GOOD, NOT GOOD AT ALL.

If it's not CRT tree in reality it's not their responsibly,  it's not up to CRT to manage 3rd party trees, in fact they have no right to work on someone else's tree.

If you think the tree is dangerous contact a qualified surveyor, not just a tree surgeon and present the report to the landowner

1 minute ago, tats said:

Mark, why not contact CRT. CRT are geared up for it, or should be?. CRT take mooring money.....for what? It was over the canal, over their water. They have a responsibility to canal customers' safety. CRT should be professional and take care of it. I would if I was them. Safety comes first. I would want to take care of it. It would be my pride to get it sorted simple and swift. No this or that. It's just not good enough by a long chalk. 

It's a private tree, they have no real authority to work on private property 

  • Greenie 1

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Tree monkey, CRT can ask for permission. It's not a problem. 

 

This whole business s cheap and shabby. Can they run a canal safely or can't they? 'It's not my job it's their job. No t's their job not my job; no it isn't it's their job; no it isn't.........'. Unprofessional. Dangerous. Over the water. We'll come and sort it. Next Wednesday ok? That is what i would be if I was CRT. Things like this need doing quickly and land owners are not geared up for that. 

 

But f their is a dispute, should then CRT say that no boats should pass the tree until it is sorted because it s dangerous? If not then they are putting their customers' lives at risk. They should either sort it one way or another or shut the canal at that point. It fell into the canal halfway across, the branch weighed tons. So they should have shut the canal until the tree was made safe. Well that is not practical. CRT are better placed to sort it swiftly, and they take mooring money for it. I can't say anymore. It is black and white, but I still do not know for certain who's responsibility is it?

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6 minutes ago, tats said:

Tree monkey, CRT can ask for permission. It's not a problem. 

 

This whole business s cheap and shabby. Can they run a canal safely or can't they? 'It's not my job it's their job. No t's their job not my job; no it isn't it's their job; no it isn't.........'. Unprofessional. Dangerous. Over the water. We'll come and sort it. Next Wednesday ok? That is what i would be if I was CRT. Things like this need doing quickly and land owners are not geared up for that. 

 

But f their is a dispute, should then CRT say that no boats should pass the tree until it is sorted because it s dangerous? If not then they are putting their customers' lives at risk. They should either sort it one way or another or shut the canal at that point. It fell into the canal halfway across, the branch weighed tons. So they should have shut the canal until the tree was made safe. Well that is not practical. CRT are better placed to sort it swiftly, and they take mooring money for it. I can't say anymore. It is black and white, but I still do not know for certain who's responsibility is it?

Of course they can ask but either they have been refused or decided the tree isn't an immediate threat.

Don't forget if CRT do the work it's at their cost, if the tree is dangerous it should be the landowner doing the work.

If the landowner isn't geared up they employ a contractor just like anyone 

The tree hasn't fallen yet or in any recent storms

Edited by tree monkey

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Tree monkey. I informed them. They agreed it was dangerous. It subsequently dropped a branch weighing tons into the canal. So CRT allowed their customers to be put in grave danger. They should either have done it of closed the canal.

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6 minutes ago, tats said:

Tree monkey. I informed them. They agreed it was dangerous. It subsequently dropped a branch weighing tons into the canal. So CRT allowed their customers to be put in grave danger. They should either have done it of closed the canal.

It's not their tree, even highways have to jump through hoops for 3rd party trees unless it's an immediate threat and it has to be immediate and even then you have to cover your arse.

it's not a CRT tree, the landowner should deal with the issue, if it actually is a dangerous tree.

If the tree is dangerous it's not CRT putting customers in danger it's the tree owner

Edited by tree monkey

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Wellllllllll........let's just have a beer now and think about tomorrow tomorrow. It's just another one of them things. There's olas summat :)

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2 hours ago, tats said:

Tree monkey. I informed them. They agreed it was dangerous. It subsequently dropped a branch weighing tons into the canal. So CRT allowed their customers to be put in grave danger. They should either have done it of closed the canal.

 

Well on that basis much of the canal network will be closed because there are trees nearby which might fall (although almost all of them won't). Is that what you want?

  • Greenie 1

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Tats, is this an end of garden mooring? your garden? are you the land (and tree) owner?

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Tree monkey. Of course that is not what  want. You know this. I realize it is a massive problem for CRT. The least they can do is get somewhere pronto when they have been alerted......BUT they are not. That is the problem. It should be a top priority. They should be geared up better. Fast action teams to quickly no fuss sort it......when it really is dangerous. Of course, all the trees. But that is the nature of their business, not just the water channel. Trees are a big part of it. To just have a policy of not taking responsibility and then waiting for em to fall down and just clear 'em. Not good enough. I don't expect perfection. I'm reasonable and pragmatic. But they should at least do what they can, the obvious ones......but they are going too far shirking even these. 

 

Could it be......could it be....wait for it......dare I say it.......that something which should cost (if set up right) £100 is costing £1,000?   Could that be the problem? Maybe the quality and cost of all works should be objectively checked and audited. But this is not my place. I shouldn't have to be the one to suggest this. It's not my job. All I can say is that summat ain't right to dodge a knowingly dangerous tree which can kill. 

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