Whilst the risk of being injured or killed by a falling tree or branch is statistically very low, from time to time the British media carry reports of tragic fatal incidents involving trees. These incidents should remind landowners and those in control of land supporting trees of the need to manage the risks associated with them.
Where a tree is hazardous because of decay or structural weakness and shows external signs of being in such a condition the occupier of the land on which it stands is normally liable under UK law for any personal injury or damage that it causes. The occupier is whoever has possession of and controls the land.
This guide considers the liability risks of local authorities and land-owners acting as duty holders for trees on their or others property.
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