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Trees, TV, and the law
When planting a tree, consideration should be given to the size
to which it will grow. Trees can interfere with television
reception and if this happens, there is very little that can be
done short of removing the tree or severely cutting it back.
If your reception is affected by trees that are not under your
control, there are a few things that can be done to improve it.
When the surrounding trees are below the level of the rooftop,
there should be no problem, provided that an adequate roof-mounted
UHF aerial is used. When the trees are above the level of the
rooftop, however, it may be necessary to install an aerial so that
it is above the trees. This could be done by mounting the aerial on
a pole attached to the chimney stack or by using a remote aerial
clear of the trees.
If the aerial cannot be mounted above the trees, the signal will
inevitably be weakened in passing through the trees. This could be
overcome by the use of a high-gain aerial, possibly with a masthead
amplifier. In any case, it is desirable to use a good quality
low-loss feeder to connect the aerial to the receiver and it will
often be advantageous to try an alternative position for the aerial
– on a different chimney stack, for instance.
If the trouble is ghosting rather than the reduction of the
signal, the direction of the aerial becomes important. A high-gain
aerial is usually also highly directional but some types of aerial
have very good directional properties but are not high-gain.
Viewers should contact their local television dealer or a
reputable aerial contractor and take care that the aerial is
adequately supported. If the obstruction is caused by trees on a
hill which is so far from the viewer’s house that the above
suggestions are impracticable, the only way to solve the problem
may be to remove those parts of the trees which are obstructing the
signal or even to fell the trees.
A TV licence does not guarantee any reception, it simply grants
the opportunity to operate the receiver. There are no court
precedents in respect of trees interfering with TV reception and it
seems that trees on neighbouring land interfering with reception
are unlikely to be regarded as a nuisance by law. So any work
should be by agreement with the tree owner and within statutory
Bear in mind when installing a satellite dish that conditions
may change. Give thought when installing a dish in winter, when the
lack of leaves on a tree obstructing the reception may allow a
signal to get through. In summer, when the leaves grow again,
reception may become broken or impossible.
To report a tree that may be interfering with television
reception, please use the