Trees and woodlands

We value our borough’s trees and the contribution they make to our quality of life. There are many benefits of a healthy and sustainable tree population including:

  • Combating climate change and enhancing biodiversity
  • Reducing flood risk
  • Promoting good mental and physical health and making liveable places.

Common tree queries

We’ve put together a helpful list of common queries about the management and protection of trees in our borough.

For further details on the queries below and how we respond to all tree-related matters, take a look at our Tree Management Principles document.

What is the council responsible for?

We are responsible for maintaining trees on council-owned land. This includes trees in our parks, cemeteries, open spaces, council estates and along our streets.

How to report a tree or hedge problem on council owned land

You can report a tree or hedge problem on council owned land to us via Report it. Tree-related issues include:

  • Dead trees, fallen trees and roots causing damage to surrounding infrastructure
  • Trees that are blocking drains
  • Overhanging hedges, bushes and trees which are obstructing the highway, road, footpath or cycleway and pose a risk to motorists and pedestrians.

To report tree issues on council owned land or hedges/bushes/trees that overhang onto the highway, login or register for MyAccount and select 'Add report'.

Tree issues on private land

If a tree is on private land it is the responsibility of the owner. If a tree in a neighbouring property is causing you problems, speak to your neighbour or the property owner.

On private land a property owner is legally entitled to cut overhanging branches back to the boundary - but no further. It is highly recommended that such works are discussed with the tree owner beforehand and an agreement reached. Any branches which are cut belong to the owner of the tree and should be offered back to them.

We do not have details of private land ownership, so if the tree is on private land you will need to contact Land Registry (external link).

You will need our permission to prune or remove a tree if it is protected by a tree preservation order (TPO) or is located in a conservation area.

Is the tree protected?

You can find out if a tree or woodland is protected by completing our online form. You can also contact us to request a copy of a TPO for conveyancing.

If you find that the tree is in a conservation area or is the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) you will need to apply in writing to the Council to carry out any works to it.

Fallen leaves, sap and berries

We do not fell or prune a tree due to issues with leaves, berries or sap falling as they are a natural part of the life cycle of a tree.

Trees obstructing light and views to a property

We will not prune or fell a council-owned tree solely to open up a view or to improve natural light into a property.

Trees affecting TV, satellite and phone reception

We will not prune or fell a council-owned tree solely to address poor television or satellite, mobile phone or other telecommunications signals reception.

Where the branch of a council-owned tree is touching a telephone line, the council will carry out minimal pruning so that it no longer interferes with the line.

Tree pests and diseases

For information on how to identify, report, prevent and minimise the introduction, spread and impacts of tree pests and diseases in the UK, you can visit:

Hedges

A-Z

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