Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance.

With storms blowing in on a regular basis and frost and ice biting, winter is the time of year when garden fences feel the strain.

If you find the fence around your house is starting to creak under the strain – or in the worst case scenario blows over completely – it could be time to look at having it replaced.

At the very least it will need to be repaired, but before you invest in a replacement make sure you are indeed the owner of the fence.

On many modern housing estates gardens can be bordered by four other properties with a fence in common.

There are many theories floating around about the fence on the right side of the property being the homeowner’s responsibility, or if the good side faces your house.

Know where you stand

While these may well be true in many cases there is no hard and fast rule about garden boundary ownership.

Instead the only place to find an answer that is 100 per cent accurate is in the deeds of your house, which should flag up the boundary that falls under your ownership.

If the deeds are hard to find your best bet is to ask the neighbours which side of the property their fence is on – if you ask a few the pattern should emerge.

Obviously if you are on good terms with your neighbours everything is a lot easier in relation to garden renovation.

Respecting boundaries

But still there are a few fence rules that are worth knowing to keep that friendly neighbourly relationship in good working order:

  • Fences should not as a general rule be higher than 2 metres;
  • Your neighbour owns the fence on their border entirely and could, if they wish object to painting, trellises and any other fixtures;
  • Should your neighbour refuse to repair a fence you have every right to put up an additional fence running alongside it on your property.

There is a lot to be said for good neighbours, particularly when it comes to fence maintenance!

For more information on fencing contact Garden Busters.

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

It’s that time of year when trees come indoors – yes, Christmas is here and thousands of homes will be furnished with beautiful conifers.

Christmas trees are part and parcel of our festive celebrations and many families are happy to pay anything between £20 and £60 each year for a decent tree.

While the cost may put some people off the idea of investing in a tree every Christmas, there is also the idea of waste. Come the first week in January and there will instead be thousands of sad-looking trees heading for the recycling.

But there is another option – and that is grow your own.

Living Christmas trees

A trend does appear to developing for people decorating trees that remain in their garden – and it’s not just Christmas trees. While lights have been added to beautiful external trees for years, baubles are starting to make an appearance in the garden too.

More notable, Christmas trees are finding a place in family gardens. While for most of the year they stand unnoticed as a conifer, come Christmas these look fantastic with lights added.

Environmentally-aware consumers have also chosen to invest in potted Christmas trees, which while more expensive at the outset obviously cost less in the long-run.

Adding a Christmas tree to the garden

Most living Christmas trees come in a pot for ease of transport and storage. If you choose to opt for a potted version it is advisable to re-pot the tree every year to allow it to grow.

Conifers as a general rule are easy trees to maintain. The only considerations with a potted Christmas tree will be to maintain the shape with regular trimming and keep an eye on the growth of larger branches while removing any that die.

Alternatively, the tree could be planted into the garden from the pot.

To plant a Christmas tree directly into your garden you will need to ensure it has the root ball still attached.

Like potted Christmas trees, once in the ground the tree will be easy to look after and require little maintenance aside of trimming.

Beware though, Christmas trees can grow quickly and substantially – reaching up to 50 feet.

Living trees also need to spend less time inside to avoid being damaged – around 10 days is the average time recommended.

When thinking about your Christmas tree this year, turn your thoughts to the garden and consider whether it would welcome a festive addition.

For any information on tree maintenance contact Garden Busters.

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

Houses, warehouses, roads – there is a lot of competition for space in our communities but spare a thought for the humble tree.

Development, unfortunately, often comes at a price for nature.

And this is the time that Tree Preservation Orders frequently come into play to protect trees of special interest.

What does a Tree Preservation Order mean?

A Tree Preservation Order is made by a council to protect a tree or woodland from harm or destruction following an application, which anyone is free to make.

If a Tree Preservation Order exists for a tree on your property you need to abide by it or face prosecution.

The order forbids:

  • Felling
  • Lopping
  • Topping
  • Uprooting
  • Deliberate damage or destruction

In light of the restrictions put in place by a Tree Preservation Order it is often necessary to apply to the borough council to carry out work to any tree that is subject to an order.

Carrying out work on a protected tree

Despite the restrictions in place it is the duty of the homeowner to ensure that the tree is properly maintained.

Carrying out work to a tree under a Tree Preservation Order can involve putting a form together detailing what work is required and why it is needed. Councils do have the right to refuse the work.

When an application for work on a protected tree is approved the council will reply with a written response.

Delicacy and thoroughness are essential to make sure that work is properly carried out when a Tree Preservation Order is in place.

Rather than take on the complicated task yourself it is wise to seek the help of a tree surgeon, who can advise on the work needed and how to go about it.

If you have any concerns about a tree on your property contact Garden Busters for expert advice.

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance.

Autumn is a great time for gardeners to lay the foundations for springtime success.

A little bit of effort before the first frost goes a long way to protecting your garden and keeping it in tip top condition.

Really it could be seen as a spring clean for your garden, it’s just the opposite season!


Lawn care in autumn

For many people lucky enough to have the space, a lawn is the centrepiece of the garden. While you will be happy to say goodbye to the summertime routine of mowing, there are a few tasks to be done that will help to leave your lawn in good condition.

Try to squeeze in a final mow before the end of October to tidy up the grass before it gets too wet, but leave a bit of length.

Clearing the lawn of debris, such as leaves, is also an important task as this will help to ensure light can reach the lawn, and it will help to avoid patches of dead grass and moss.

Specialist autumn fertilizers can also be sprinkled on the grass to help nourish and protect lawns over the colder months as growth stays low.

On the move

Autumn is also the time for a reshuffle should you being unhappy with the locations of any plants. While the ground is still warm enough, carefully dig them up and move them to their ideal spot.

Complement any changes with cutting back dead branches and foliage to prevent decay and make sure everything is in tip-top condition before hanging up your secateurs for the winter.

Delicate plants will also need extra protection through winter so carefully lift these without damaging the roots and store in dry sand over the winter.

Add a good layer of compost, leaf mulch or bark to borders to help protect plants through the cold weather.

Plant ahead

Many spring-flowering species need to be planted by the end of autumn, so plan ahead for what you want to be looking at in the spring. Daffodils and hyacinths need to go in as soon as possible, while favourites such as alliums, lilies and tulips also need planting in autumn.

If you are concerned about the state of your lawn – or need an extra hand to stay on top of maintenance – get in touch with Gardenbusters today.

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

Trees are a fantastic addition to gardens – they bring privacy, interest and wildlife, but not all species are ideal for smaller gardens. Such is the powerful nature of trees that planting the right species can even help to control garden problems, particularly if you have clay soil or drainage issues.

Some trees, however, need space to breathe and, more importantly, grow – sometimes to epic proportions. With this in mind it always makes sense to do your research before investing, and to check out what is in your garden should you move house.

Popular garden trees

Japanese Maples (Acers) – These trees are available in lots of smaller sizes. Beautiful to look at, they boast fantastic autumn colours. 

Crab Apple – These trees have it all – fruit, beautiful spring blossom and can help with clay soil.

Amelanchier – These also help with clay soil and have displays of blossom in spring, as well as colour in autumn.

Cherry Blossom – A real favourite in many households for their impressive blossom, these make a great centrepiece. Although make sure to plant in an area where there is room for their roots.

Eucalyptus – Hardy and easy to care for, Eucalyptus make a good choice  – but stick to the smaller variety.

Problematic garden trees

Leyland cypress – These grow at an impressive rate and are incredibly thirsty. Although they make a great boundary they can leave patches of dead grass and block light from your garden.

Poplar – These are also fast-growing, thirsty plants that put down strong roots. Planted near to a building they can cause subsidence issues.

Oak – We all know what size these can grow to, but aside from that their shallow roots can grow rapidly becoming a problem for nearby buildings.

Ash – Beloved by many as a native, healing tree, be very careful that you have enough space to accommodate these fast-growing trees – and enough time to maintain them.

Obviously if you are lucky enough to have a huge garden that resembles a field in size, go for it and enjoy having the freedom to choose.

If, on the other hand, space is at a premium and you have a tree that is causing problems for you or your neighbours contact Garden Busters for advice.

Posted by & filed under Latest News, Tree Work.

Have you been left stumped by how to get over the final hurdle to clearing a patch of your garden?

Maybe you’ve moved into a new house and want to make a few changes, or you could have decided it’s time to tackle a long-ignored part of the garden. However, grand plans to overhaul parts of the garden or put in a new path can often hit a bump when it comes to the problem of dealing with tree stumps.

Gardeners can be left surprised by the size of tree stumps left behind when attempting to remove shrubs, trees and bushes. It doesn’t matter how deep you dig, your efforts are quite likely only to be rewarded with a snapped garden spade and backache.

Getting to the root of the problem, tree stumps are quite often just too tough to prise out by strength and determination alone, and are too deep to be tackled with a saw or axe – instead these times call for expert help.

Solutions to large root mass and tree stumps

While naysayers may tell you there is nothing that can be done to get rid of large tree stumps, Garden Busters can help you to prove them wrong. Specialist machinery that is surprisingly easy to move around will work beneath ground level to grind up stumps allowing you to make use of the area.

Equipped with a sharp blade, stump grinders cut through troublesome tree stumps turning them into sawdust that can then be removed from the garden. This leaves a hole that can be used to plant an alternative – or clears the way to lay a pathway or patio.

Don’t listen to anyone who says there is no solution for dealing with deep-rooted stumps, contact Garden Busters to find out how we can help you to realise your garden ambitions.

Posted by & filed under Garden Maintenance.

An Englishman’s home is his castle, so goes the saying, and for many years the outer boundary of that castle was quite often protected by a line of conifers.

Green, lush, and, by and large, impossible to see through, conifers stood to attention at the end of gardens across the country. But something happened to make conifers fall out of fashion somewhat. Was it just a change in taste or was there more to it?

Why do people have a problem with conifers?

The main problem with conifers is the next-door neighbour’s experience. By doing exactly what they have been installed to do, conifers draw the ire of other householders.

So, while they grow tall and strong and are solid, it is these virtues that are a problem to adjoining houses, who see their space being encroached upon by trees they do not own, and, even worse, that block their light.

As well as blocking much sought-after sunlight from other people’s gardens, conifers hit gardeners’ plants with a double-whammy being incredibly thirsty plants that drain nutrients and water from the soil.

This can be a problem at the house the conifers are planted at just as much as in adjoining gardens, with patches of brown grass left near to the trees.

Conifers also need regularly trimming to keep them in good shape – and to stop them growing out of control. For neighbours who inherit this task it is particularly onerous.

How high is too high?

High hedge legislation kicks in at six-and-a-half feet, so it is essential to regularly get your trees trimmed. Neighbours can ask the council to intervene if they feel reasonable requests to maintain trees have been ignored.

With this in mind it is imperative to keep your trees tidy and at a reasonable height. Rather than let this become a struggle, take expert advice and employ a tree surgeon to keep on top of your conifers.

Don’t let maintenance take away your enjoyment of your garden – or your neighbour’s.

Contact Garden busters for help in managing out of control evergreens.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

You know the type – the one that sneaks up out of nowhere, starts throwing their weight around, too tough to take in hand and then casts a shadow on everything, yes we’re talking about Japanese Knotweed.

The ecological bully, Japanese Knotweed lies in wait underground over the winter months, then as summer approaches and gardeners await the colours of the season it springs up, laying its tough roots across flower beds, gardens and even bursting through paving, walls and floorboards if left to spread.

This weed is a serious tough cookie, in fact Japanese Knotweed is so difficult to control it is included in anti-social behaviour laws.  If nature dealt out anti-social behaviour orders this weed would be subject to some serious banning orders.

As it is lawmakers have taken steps to protect property owners from the reaches of Japanese Knotweed’s grasping roots.  Owing to its potential to damage buildings and kill native plants, environmental authorities have the right to access property where owners have failed to tackle a Japanese Knotweed outbreak – they can also face a fine if they fail to adhere to an order to control the weed.

Why is Japanese Knotweed such a problem?

With its tall canes and decorative leaves, Japanese Knotweed does not fit the traditional image of a garden weed and was introduced to the UK as a decorative plant in the late 1800s. However, appearances can be deceptive. Japanese Knotweed:

  • Grows aggressively from even the smallest root
  • Can grow through tarmac and concrete – including buildings and roads
  • Overwhelms other garden plants
  • Can harm the eco-system by pushing out other plant species
  • Can affect the value of a property

What can be done to tackle Japanese Knotweed?

In case you are panicking, it is not illegal to grow Japanese Knotweed. Gardeners must, however, take responsibility for keeping it under control. To do this, gardeners need to display great vigilance.

In the event of discovering Japanese Knotweed on your property the most sensible course of action is to call in professional gardening and weed-killing specialists, such as Gardenbusters.

Outbreaks of Japanese Knotweed can be treated with chemical weedkillers, to ensure the plant does not return this may require repeat treatments.

Japanese Knotweed can also be physically removed, but with roots stretching as far down as three metres and covering wide areas this is no easy task.

In both instances, treatment with either herbicides or physical removal, it is important that no part of the plant remains in the area and that parts of the plant do not splinter off as the smallest piece of Japanese Knotweed can take root to spark another outbreak.

Specialists may also recommend stem injection, burning or burying the weed. Whatever method is used, the plant must be disposed of according to strict regulations to prevent further spread of Japanese Knotweed.

Don’t let this ant-social menace affect your property, take Japanese Knotweed in hand by calling in the experts today – contact Gardenbusters for a free quote.

Posted by & filed under Tree Work.

Cutting down a tree or its branches is not an easy thing to do. Sawing tree limbs is one thing, but sawing them safely and ensuring the tree will stay alive is another thing. Most people are not aware of the safest ways to cut down a tree to the ground so that is why you need to call a tree surgeon. Tree surgeons are also known by the term ‘arborists’ and they specialise in tree-cutting and have good knowledge about the health of trees.

If you have an old tree in your garden that looks in a bad shape, the best thing to do is call an arborist to take a look at it. The arborist will make an evaluation of the tree and its roots and will suggest different solutions. Tree roots require regular watering, but there has to be good water drainage so that the tree does not get too much water and causes the tree roots to rot. Additionally, good mulching will keep the soil moist so it can keep all nutrients for the tree during the hot summer months.

A skilled arborist can recognise the potential symptoms of tree disease and will know how the branches grow after cutting. Arborists are trained to recognise which places on the branch should be pruned in order to encourage new growth. Proper pruning will ensure the tree gets a strong structure that can withstand all kinds of weather conditions.

A few things to consider when you look for an arborist is whether they have appropriate insurance in place, do they have quality equipment and know how to safely use it, and are they members of some professional organisation which guarantees they follow highest standards in their work. If they can say yes to all the above and this checks out, then you should get a professional and safe job.

If you need help with the trees in your garden and need expert help, please get in touch.

Posted by & filed under Latest News.

If you are using the help of a tree removal service, it is very likely that you will have to make a decision about the removal of the tree stump as well.

So, prior to the arrival of the tree removal expert you should also think about the tree stump that will be left. If are not sure whether you should remove it or not, consider the following:

  1. Stumps ruin the look of your garden

Let’s be honest, tree stumps are unattractive and they will ruin the aesthetic appeal of your garden. If you enjoy being in your garden, then unwanted tree stumps will be a continual annoyance to you.

  1. Stumps are dangerous

Another thing that you should take into consideration is the risk these stumps bring. They are especially hazardous to children. If they are playing in the garden they can easily trip over the stump and hurt themselves. Keep in mind that you could be held responsible for any accident involving a tree stump and potentially be held liable if you are sued because of an injury.  Also, when maintaining your garden, you can also easily forget that they are there and damage your lawn mower in the process.

  1. Stumps support growth of new trees

It is not unusual to notice new sprouts coming from stumps. As a result, you will sometimes witness the growth of a few small trees in the vicinity of the stump. Once again this can aesthetically damage the look of your garden and even if you cut the new sprouts, they will grow again after a while.

  1. Stumps are wasting your space

This is a huge problem especially for those who have small gardens. There are some big stumps with huge roots that can cover a relatively large area in a small garden. This will potentially stop you from utilising the garden the way you want to.

  1. Stumps attract bugs

If you leave a stump or a few stumps in your garden, this part of the tree will keep rotting for a while. During this process, it will become a perfect spot for termites, beetles, and other bugs.

To organise the removal of tree stumps in your garden, please contact us now.