The recent unseasonable weather conditions in Northern Ireland have left our ‘Best Kept’ volunteers the hard task of clearing up the debris. The strong wind and heavy rain has weakened many branches on trees and allowed hedges to become overgrown and untidy.
With the weather now set to improve and the summer holidays on the horizon we thought now would be a good time to share some tips on how to maintain the trees and hedges in your local area.
Where hedges are located next to public roads it is important to cut them back and trim on a regular basis to ensure the safety of road users and pedestrians. With this in mind we would recommend the following clearance for hedging on roads and footpaths;
- 5m clearance on footpaths for safe passage
- 2m clearance for hedges overhanging roads
- 1m clearance for hedges overhanging footpaths
- 5m clearance for hedges overhanging cycleways
It is also important to note that hedge banks should not be cut bare as this may cause them to dry out or become vulnerable to frost and plant life may be damaged or lost.
In regards to the trees in the local area, the recommended minimum clearance for branches overhanging on public roads and residential areas is;
- 2m for trees overhanging roads
- 1m for trees overhanging footpaths
- 5m for trees overhanging cycleways
If there appears to be large, unstable limbs hanging over the road or footpaths please inform the local council straight away. It is important that a qualified and competent tree surgeon assesses the tree and removes the branch safely.
Good luck to all our ‘Best Kept’ volunteers!