Leylandii removal costs explained. Get Quotes Here

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Leylandii removal costs explained

Leylandii is a fast-growing evergreen tree that has popularly been used as a rapidly growing hedge; even in poor soil, Leylandii can achieve record heights in just a few years and therein lies the problem. Leylandii can grow at a rate of three feet per year and can become a towering wall of greenery blocking out light and reaching heights which make pruning an impossibility.

Most people have Leylandii removed when they become too tall to cut every year and whilst there are a number of individual factors which can affect the cost, a good average figure to work to is somewhere between £500-£1,000 to have the trees taken out but, it could be a lot more than that.

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What other factors affect the cost?

There are several factors which can increase the final bill and these include:-

  • The number of Leylandii to be removed
  • The size/height of the trees, taller trees require more specialist intervention
  • The size of the stumps which may need to be physically removed or ground out
  • Access to the site for machinery
  • Whether or not the trees border a road
  • The arrangements made for the disposal of the trees
  • Your postcode – prices vary regionally but are always more expensive in London and the South East

 

image from: https://perfectplants.co.uk/blog/the-story-of-leylandii-are-these-conifers-friend-or-foe

 

What are the problems with leaving Leylandii in place?

Leylandii just don’t stop growing and so problems with this species are usually inevitable and become worse over time if there is no intervention. These include:-

  • Loss of sunlight in the garden which can affect lawns and plants, Leylandii can throw shadow three times their height at certain times of the year and are almost a total block on light during the winter months when the sun is low
  • Loss of light in adjacent buildings
  • Root incursion which can cause damage to hard surfaces such as driveways and patios and also spread into neighbour’s gardens
  • Leylandii are not just tall, they are also bushy and wide and will encroach into the garden taking up space
  • They are a thirsty species and will impoverish soil around their location and affect neighbouring plants
  • Leylandii have quite small root balls despite their immense height which makes them unstable in high winds, they are also prone to large branches breaking off which can be dangerous to householder or vehicles if they are situated near a road

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Sourcing a contractor to remove Leylandii

Large Leylandii trees will need specialist removal and this can be done by landscape contractors or tree surgeons.

  • Ask around for a recommendation from family or friends
  • Post on a social media group for your neighbourhood or local community forum for a recommendation
  • Search online using a supplier platform who will send details of your job to different people registered on their database

Always obtain at least three estimates and make sure the price includes both stump grinding and the removal of all the debris from the site. To spread the cost, some people remove the bulk of the trees first and then have the stumps ground out at a later date.

The process of removing Leylandii

A contractor will need to first undertake a thorough site inspection in order to look at the scope of the job and consider issues like access for vehicles and machinery. The trees are then cut down and either removed complete with the root ball or cut down just above the stumps with the remaining wood left for stump grinding. The contractor’s quotation should include complete removal of all the waste material from the trees although it will be necessary to cut the trees up on-site if they are very large.

What can you plant after Leylandii have been removed?

Leylandii are well known for draining soil of its nutrients and so it is worth spending time digging over the earth after their removal, pulling weeds and any other unwanted species. It is really important to remove the stumps from the earth as any woody material left can cause disease and will continue to drain new plants of their nutrients. Put in a mixture of manure, topsoil, compost and soil improver and then let the soil rest for a few weeks before you consider planting. Or you could cover the whole area with bark or woodchip to a depth of between 6” and 12” and let the bark rot down over the summer months; this covering will also help keep the area weed-free. You can add a few inches of manure below the bark to re-energise the soil. Leave the area to rest and recover and then consider a planting programme for the following spring.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need planning permission to remove Leylandii?

It is very unlikely you will need planning permission to remove Leylandii but if your home is listed and/or in a conservation area then check with the local planning authority first as regulations surrounding these properties may differ.

I have Leylandii as a perimeter boundary with my neighbour, how can I find out who owns the trees?

The title deeds to the property will reveal who owns the trees and therefore has the right to remove them (or not). Sometimes a boundary hedge can be shared which means ownership of the trees is joint so any decision to remove them will have to be made with the express agreement of your neighbour.

Is there any legislation which relates to Leylandii?

There is no specific law but the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 applies to high hedges and councils are allowed to take action where “reasonable enjoyment of a property is being adversely affected by the height of a high hedge which is situated on land owned or occupied by another person”. Hedges and their maintenance can often cause disputes between neighbours and because of the height Leylandii can reach, they are top of the list when it comes to complaints. A local council can intervene where the hedge is deemed to be a nuisance. They will take into account several factors including the height of the hedge, the proximity to neighbouring properties and the loss of light to both house and garden.

How can I reduce the cost of removing a row of Leylandii?

If the hedge is very dense and the trees are a vast height then you could plan to remove them over the course of several months or years to spread the cost of hedge cutting. There are other advantages – the mess and disruption are reduced within the garden and for your neighbours and, if the trees have been providing a screen then by removing them gradually, it allows you to plant new plants and shrubs to recreate a barrier.

Can I cut Leylandii to avoid the time and expense of removing them?

Even with cutting, Leylandii can reach a vast height so pruning alone may not contain the problem unless the current trees are very small. If the trees are already a good height then you will need a tree surgeon to cut them which can also be expensive and is only putting on the evil day when you will probably need to remove them.

Will Leylandii hedges put off house buyers if the property is for sale?

They can do as they are not easily something you can hide and most people are well aware of the issues that surround them. Your buyer’s mortgage company may also have something to say about them as the location of and potential issues with certain species of tree often crop up on housebuyer’s reports. Of possibly greater difficulty when it comes to the sale of a house is neighbourhood disputes over Leylandii which can often become very serious and have to be disclosed on the property information forms. It is always best to try and avoid entering into a dispute with your neighbours if you are planning on selling as you will have to reveal this. A better compromise is to have the trees professionally cut back if your neighbour is complaining about their complete removal which will hopefully maintain the privacy of the adjacent property and not present such an enormous and high hedge to potential purchasers. It can come down to a simple trade-off between the height of the trees versus a neighbour dispute and the balance will vary according to each individual set of circumstances.

How far do Leylandii roots grow?

Roots grow in proportion to the height of the trees. If you can keep the hedge to below two to three metres then the root system will be far less substantial. Roots will often extend to a radius that is wider than the hedge height which is something to also consider when the trees are being removed.

Does Leylandii make good wood for the fire?

If you have an open fire or log burner then you might want to consider taking some of the wood for your winter log supply once the trees have been felled. As with all firewood, the key is to season it thoroughly otherwise it will not burn well.

For more general information on the disposal of garden waste, see this government resource. For more information on the disposal of leylandii in particular, see this resource from Tameside Metropolitan Borough.

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