Is planning permission needed to remove an oak? Is a tree too big for my garden? What can I do with a fast growing beech? Is it time to give up on my frost damaged hedges? We ask a professional tree care specialist for advice on a range of tree care issues.
Service 1, Service 2, Service 3

Reader Question: I have a large mature oak in my front garden, but it's blocking light. Do I need planning permission to remove it?

Ordinarily you don't need planning permission to remove a tree on your own property unless you live within a special area of conservation or the tree in question is listed as part of a protection order under a previous planning permission application. The list of sac's can be found on the Department of the Environment website and any planning permission protection orders can be found with your local planning department.

Having said that, depending on certain criteria you may need to apply for a felling licence to remove a tree. A full explanation is given here.

As an alternative you could consider having a crown thinning carried out. This would entail removing certain sections of the tree , allowing more light through the canopy whilst still preserving a grand old tree for many years to come.

Reader Question: I have a large cherry blossom in my small back garden. This year and last year, it's started to look slightly sick i.e leaves are always slightly wrinkled and dry looking. I think it might be too big for garden, or could there be some other problem?

There are a host of reasons why your tree could be showing such symptoms e.g. pests, lack of water, root compaction, fungal infection, blossom wilt, damage to the trees bark, overzealous pruning, overspray from weedkiller to name but a few. We would suggest a site visit by a qualified tree surgeon who would assess the symptoms and advise a course of action to bring the tree back to its former glory. It may only need pruning and a follow up feed of bonemeal but it would be necessary to assess the tree on site in it's surroundings to give a true diagnosis.

Reader Question: We have have a large beech tree in back garden. I like it, but it grows fast and maintenance is expensive for me. I am considering chopping it down. Is there any other alternatives?

Besides having the tree totally removed and planting a more maneageable tree in its stead there are other methods we would suggest.

Beech trees by their nature are highly sensitive to intervention so in essence have to be treated respectfully.

Crown reduction - this is where a maximum of 30% of leaf volume is removed. This reduces the windsail effect.any more than 30% can cause adverse effects such as reducing the trees ability to build up energy reserves to see it through its dormant period of autumn and winter.

Crown thinning - this is where selected stems and branches are removed improving air and light penetration but still retaining the trees natural shape. However it is worth noting that on a beech tree or any tree for that matter epicormic growth will appear. This is where the tree once it has had any major branches removed tries to remedy this by sending out new shoots further back in its canopy. This growth can sometimes appear unsightly but is merely a trees attempts at recovering its foliage in order to survive.

Crown raising - this is simply reducing the lower branches of a tree where they are too low blocking light penetration or are a hazard .

Either way with any of the above remedial treatments a tree as grand as a beech will only try and recover to what it always was. If a client isn't willing or cannot afford yearly or two yearly visits then, as a last resort the tree should be removed and something more manageable planted in its place

Reader Question: Our evergreen hedge was badly damaged in 2010 frost. There are some signs of recovery, but it still looks 90% dead. Is it time to give up and dig it up?

If the hedge is a coniferous hedge ie leylandii or cypress then best advice is to remove. These hedges seldom regenerate from brown wood only. We would suggest replanting with a more manageable evergreen that will still give good cover eg laurel

Contributors

Home and Garden Advice From The Experts

Paving For Driveways, Paths, Patios and Carparks pickapro
As every estate agent will tell you, your front driveway sets the tone to your house. It might also dictate whether you can park comfortably outside your house - or whether you squeeze out the door and then step right into a nice puddle or mucky bit of grass! If you've been thinking about tackling it, well read on. We've asked our professional pavers on pickapro.ie for some inside knowledge on driveways and patios. As every estate agent will tell you, your front driveway sets the tone to your house. It might also dictate whether you can park comfortably outside your house - or whether you ...
Furniture Makeover With The Upholstery Experts pickapro

Lumpy couches, wobbly chairs, scratched leather and dated colour schemes - it's all in a day's work for the team at Portmarnock Furnishings Ltd. We've presented our experts with 6 furniture issues to tackle. Read how your furniture can get a whole new wow factor, often for a fraction of the cost of replacing with new.

Lumpy couches, wobbly chairs, scratched leather and dated colour schemes - it's all in a day's work for the team at Portmarnock Furnishings Ltd. We've presented our experts with ...
Extensions...Advice and Ideas From A Structural Engineer pickapro
A successful extension can greatly improve a property in many ways. However there are risks to be addressed in the process. Structural engineer, Michael Hogan of Hogan & Associates has over 25 years experience in home and commercial building projects. We ask him to give us some advice and also some ideas. Learn about extending upstairs, and also about getting that perfect, "beam free" extension... A successful extension can greatly improve a property in many ways. However there are risks to be addressed in the process. Structural engineer, Michael Hogan of Hogan & Associates ...
Choosing The Right Contractor pickapro
Choosing the right contractor is the most important factor in determining the success or failure of your home or garden improvement project. At Pickapro.ie we've interviewed hundreds of Dubliners about their experience in choosing a home improvement professional. Here are some of the tips that we've picked up from homeowners who have made a successful match. Choosing the right contractor is the most important factor in determining the success or failure of your home or garden improvement project. At Pickapro.ie we've interviewed hundreds ...
Building An Extension In Ireland pickapro
They say space is the final frontier. Well, it is for many Irish homeowners anyway. For many of us, the solution lies in extending what we have. So, we've asked experienced Dublin builders from pickapro.ie to give us the scoop on planning and building a house extension. They say space is the final frontier. Well, it is for many Irish homeowners anyway. For many of us, the solution lies in extending what we have. So, we've asked experienced Dublin ...
10 Great Interior Design Tips pickapro
Decorating a room or home can be an expensive business! Small wonder that so many of us play it safe with neutral colours. Perfectly fine, but maybe not exactly what we wanted. So, we've summoned the help of an experienced Dublin interior designer to give us a little courage for the trip. Decorating a room or home can be an expensive business! Small wonder that so many of us play it safe with neutral colours. Perfectly fine, but maybe not exactly what we wanted. ...
Timber Flooring Essentials pickapro
A wooden floor must be one of the best home improvements any home owner can make. Yes, it adds immensely to the value of the house, but that's not the biggest benefit. They just look and feel so good. A timber floor is always stylish, and with a couple of rugs over it, is also incredibly cosy. Because of the range of colours in wood from purple to red to browns, timber will match just about every colour scheme. It's easy to clean, doesn't collect dust, and will probably outlast you. A wooden floor must be one of the best home improvements any home owner can make. Yes, it adds immensely to the value of the house, but that's not the biggest benefit. They just ...
Building A Sunroom Or Conservatory pickapro
We don't get too many sunny days in Ireland, so it goes without saying that you don't want to miss the sun when it does shine. We have asked our experts for some advice on adding a sunroom or conservatory to your house. We don't get too many sunny days in Ireland, so it goes without saying that you don't want to miss the sun when it does shine. We have asked our experts for some advice on adding ...
Attic Conversions pickapro
If you'd like some additional space, attic conversions are a great option. The beauty of attic conversions is that you are converting "dead space" without any impact on your garden or the rest of your house and at a lower cost than an extension. If you'd like some additional space, attic conversions are a great option. The beauty of attic conversions is that you are converting "dead space" without any impact on your garden ...
Preparing Your Garden For Winter pickapro
Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to work on their garden again. Wrong! Winter may seem like the end of the road for awhile, but there are a few things left to do to protect your garden during the harsh months ahead and prepare it for the following spring. So before you go inside and shut the door on your garden for the season,make sure you or an experienced landscaping company puts your garden to bed. A little preparation can make a huge difference to your garden in the spring. Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the fallen leafs have been raked up, it's time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to ...
Dog Friendly Garden Ideas for Dogs That Dig pickapro
Geraldine contacted us with her problem - her dog and her garden are at odds. She tried to go for a low maintenance garden, but the dog keeps pulling up the black weed cover. She would also like to do something about an old concrete dog run on the side of the garden which is looking "a little worse for wear" Geraldine contacted us with her problem - her dog and her garden are at odds. She tried to go for a low maintenance garden, but the dog keeps pulling up the black weed cover. She ...
The Things Which Are Surprisingly Bad For Your House and Garden pickapro
I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, to interior designers to landscapers, a lot of them had their say. I have to say, I'm guilty of at least one of these things myself... I wanted to find out what gets our home and garden professionals shaking their heads. I put it to them and got back a fantastically diverse set of answers. From structural engineers, ...
Sell Your House For More pickapro
Decorating your house to sell is a completely different proposition from interior design for living. We've asked the professionals to tell us how to turn your property into a "must have" for buyers without breaking the bank. Decorating your house to sell is a completely different proposition from interior design for living. We've asked the professionals to tell us how to turn your property into a "must ...
Great Gardens For Children and Adults pickapro
Do houses actually shrink over the Winter or does it just feel that way? There is of course a fantastic relief valve, more commonly known as the garden but it's often neglected at this time of the year. Like adults, children aren't enticed by a muddy strip of lawn and some drippy brown trees. So we've asked experienced Dublin landscapers from pickapro.ie to give us some inspiration for a garden that will appeal to both children and adults year round. Do houses actually shrink over the Winter or does it just feel that way? There is of course a fantastic relief valve, more commonly known as the garden but it's often neglected ...
Decks For Irish Gardens pickapro
There's something intrinsically enjoyable about sitting on a wooden deck. It's back to nature - like a tree house for adults! www.pickapro.ie, the website of home and garden professionals have asked the professionals for advice on building the perfect deck. There's something intrinsically enjoyable about sitting on a wooden deck. It's back to nature - like a tree house for adults! www.pickapro.ie, the website of home and garden professionals ...
Ground Cover Basics pickapro
When it comes to gardens, an important element of the foundation, is what's literally underneath your feet - ground cover including soil, grass, bark, chippings and stone. We've asked landscaping supplies specialists to give us practical advice on buying these very important basics. When it comes to gardens, an important element of the foundation, is what's literally underneath your feet - ground cover including soil, grass, bark, chippings and stone. We've ...
Plumbers Tips For Energy Efficiency pickapro
There's a lot of us living with the joys and challenges of old fashioned plumbing. It's probably functional but it certainly isn't efficient. With fuel and oil costing plenty and new grants now available from Sustainable Energy Ireland to upgrade the efficiency of your home, it's worth looking at what can be done to upgrade the heating system in an older house. We asked several experienced plumbers what plumbing upgrades will give the best bang for your buck. There's a lot of us living with the joys and challenges of old fashioned plumbing. It's probably functional but it certainly isn't efficient. With fuel and oil costing plenty and ...
Roof Maintenance pickapro
One of the most common, costly and often times ignored household maintenance projects is the roof over your head. Unless you've had water dripping on your head, it's easy to put it on the back burner until it comes up and really take a bite out of you and your bank balance. Read our quick guide to preventative maintenance for roofs to find out what you need to protect your roof and house. One of the most common, costly and often times ignored household maintenance projects is the roof over your head. Unless you've had water dripping on your head, it's easy to put ...
Condensing Boilers Cut The Cost! pickapro
Replacing a 15 year boiler with a new high efficiency condensing boiler could represent a fuel saving of more than 25%. So if you annual oil fills typically cost €1,000, you're looking at a saving of €250 per year. Remember that there's SEI grants too. Interesting? Find out more from our boiler experts... Replacing a 15 year boiler with a new high efficiency condensing boiler could represent a fuel saving of more than 25%. So if you annual oil fills typically cost €1,000, you're ...
Garden Design Ideas pickapro
With the garden being the top priority for 2007 according to our survey, we talked to landscaper Dermot Strong about tips for homeowners planning to improve their garden this year. With the garden being the top priority for 2007 according to our survey, we talked to landscaper Dermot Strong about tips for homeowners planning to improve their garden ...
Soundproofing Your Home pickapro
With more and more Irish people living in high density apartments and houses, many of us are be feeling the pain of thin party walls. The long term solution may be higher standards in building but that won't help us now. Find out more sound proofing and how it can drastically improve your quality of life. With more and more Irish people living in high density apartments and houses, many of us are be feeling the pain of thin party walls. The long term solution may be higher standards ...
Sustainable Designs Reduces Running Costs pickapro
How can you use sustainable design in your home to reduce energy costs Architect, Simon Hoe RIBA explains how. How can you use sustainable design in your home to reduce energy costs Architect, Simon Hoe RIBA explains how.
Awake To Bird Song In Your Garden pickapro
Most of us don't know our blue tits from our chaffinches, but we still stop to watch the antics of our local friendly wildlife. They add colour and endless fascination to our gardens. pickapro.ie finds out how to entice birds into our gardens. Most of us don't know our blue tits from our chaffinches, but we still stop to watch the antics of our local friendly wildlife. They add colour and endless fascination to our gardens. ...
How To Choose An Architect pickapro
Dublin architect Simon Hoe talk about working with an architect. How to choose an architect? How much will it cost and when are the fees paid? What information should the client bring to the design process? What happens next? Dublin architect Simon Hoe talk about working with an architect. How to choose an architect? How much will it cost and when are the fees paid? What information should the client ...
Choosing An Interior Designer pickapro
How to choose an interior designer? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? And much more.. How to choose an interior designer? What are the benefits? How much will it cost? And much more..
How To Choose A Landscaper pickapro
Dublin landscapers give us the benefit of their landscaping experience. How to choose a landscaper? Is there a best time of year to hire a landscaping company in Dublin? What's popular in Dublin gardens now? And there's the all important top landscaping tips. Dublin landscapers give us the benefit of their landscaping experience. How to choose a landscaper? Is there a best time of year to hire a landscaping company in Dublin? What's ...
How To Choose A Garden Designer pickapro

We've asked our pickapro garden designers to talk to us about garden design. First of all, why is a design useful? Next - how to choose a garden designer. What are the right questions to ask a prospective designer? How much do garden designs cost? What questions will the designer ask? What information should the homeowner provide? What happens after the design process? What are their personal design likes and dislikes And finally, their top garden design tips

We've asked our pickapro garden designers to talk to us about garden design. First of all, why is a design useful? Next - how to choose a garden designer. What are the right questions ...
Garden Maintenance Tips pickapro
We've asked pickapro gardeners to talk to us about garden maintenance. First of all - how to choose a gardener. What are the right questions to ask? Next, how often should a gardener visit? Have they any tips to make garden maintenance easier. And how should we plan the garden in the first place to make maintenance easier in the long run. We've asked pickapro gardeners to talk to us about garden maintenance. First of all - how to choose a gardener. What are the right questions to ask? Next, how often should a gardener ...
Low Energy Extension Design pickapro
Architect Simon Hoe outlines the stages through which a low energy, sustainable house extension is designed from the initial meeting to planning application. Architect Simon Hoe outlines the stages through which a low energy, sustainable house extension is designed from the initial meeting to planning application.
Windows - How To Choose pickapro
It's hard to think of any other single aspect of your house that has to work harder than your windows. Windows provide security, insulation, light, ventilation, shield you from wind and rain, and allow you to enter and exit in an emergency Practicalities aside, they give your house character and make that all important first impression. It's hard to think of any other single aspect of your house that has to work harder than your windows. Windows provide security, insulation, light, ventilation, shield you from ...
Perk Up Your Garden For Spring pickapro
It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little yellow and pink primroses and pansies - don't they just say (or squeak!) Spring. If you want to start enjoying your garden nice and early this year, these bedding plants are as good a place to start as any. But we've also asked our expert gardeners what else we can do to get the garden off to a quick start this year. It's official - Spring is here. How do I know? I've just driven past my local DIY store and seen racks of tempting boxes packed with bright little Spring flowers. Those little ...
Made To Measure Curtains pickapro
Few home decorating decisions can cause as much soul searching as curtains and blinds! It's a long term investment which can make or break your room. We ask the experts for advice on choosing the right curtains and blinds. Few home decorating decisions can cause as much soul searching as curtains and blinds! It's a long term investment which can make or break your room. We ask the experts for advice ...

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Inspiring Photo Ideas

Extensions pickapro

Extension ideas From Dublin architects and builders includings rear extensions, front extensions and sunroom extensions. We haven't forgotten the more unusual extensions too such as double height extensions, wrap around extensions or upstairs extensions.

Extension ideas From Dublin architects and builders includings rear extensions, front extensions and sunroom extensions. We haven't forgotten the more unusual extensions too such ...
Small Gardens pickapro

Small garden ideas from Dublin and Cork garden designers. Design ideas for small gardens, tiny gardens, yards, courtyards and even balconies.

Small garden ideas from Dublin and Cork garden designers. Design ideas for small gardens, tiny gardens, yards, courtyards and even balconies.
Bathrooms pickapro
Ideas for remodelling any bathroom,ensuite or wet room. Get ideas for fittings, tiles and storage. Ideas for remodelling any bathroom,ensuite or wet room. Get ideas for fittings, tiles and storage.
House and Apartment Makeovers pickapro
Ideas from our Dublin interior designers. Room by room makeovers for all types of homes in all kinds of styles. Ideas from our Dublin interior designers. Room by room makeovers for all types of homes in all kinds of styles.
Driveways pickapro
Enough driveway ideas to suit every house and budget. Enough driveway ideas to suit every house and budget.
Renovations pickapro
House and apartment renovations. From individual room makeovers to complete gut and rebuild renovations. House and apartment renovations. From individual room makeovers to complete gut and rebuild renovations.