Trees and hedges guidance

Last updated: 2 November 2021

Damage caused by trees

Ivy on trees

Ivy is not a parasite and that is why it can grow on dead trees or walls.

Ivy derives all its nutrients and water through its own root system and only uses trees for support to reach the light.

Ivy has a very high wildlife value as it provides both habitat and food for a wide range of birds, insects and animals.

However, ivy can constrict stem growth of saplings and can cause stability problems to old trees in poor health during winter storms by increasing the wind load.

Only cut it back if your garden is especially exposed or if it is growing over leaves.

Repairs to trees if it or a branch has fallen and damaged your property

If the tree was owned by the council, we will arrange for the tree or branch to be cleared. You will have to make arrangements to repair your own property.

If you feel that the damage has occurred as a result of the council's negligence and wish to seek financial redress, you should submit your claim in writing giving full details of the damage and how it occurred to Litigation Claims.

If the tree was in private ownership, you will need to contact the owner of that tree to arrange for the branch to be cleared.

TV reception blocked by the trees

Tree owners have no obligation to prune a tree because of inference with TV reception. In most cases, the problem can be addressed by relocating the aerial or dish.

There are no legal rights to TV reception, and therefore no obligation to carry out any works to trees.

Sap dropping from trees onto your car

This is often referred to as sticky sap or honeydew. The sugar solution excreted by the aphids does not damage the paintwork.

The council does not control aphids as they are important ecologically as part of the food chain.

Tree owners do not have an obligation to prune or fell the tree of clean cars because of sap deposits.

Pruning of trees to due blocked gutters from leaves and seeds

Tree owners do not have an obligation to prune trees to stop leaves and seeds/fruit from falling.

Leaves falling into your garden

Tree owners do not have an obligation to prune or fell a tree to stop leaves from falling.

Felling trees that are ‘too big’, ‘too tall’ and ‘dangerous’

A tree is not dangerous just because it is large. Trees react to stress and strains by strengthening the areas that need it.

There is currently no restriction on the height to which trees may be allowed to grow, and tree owners have no obligation to fell a tree because it is considered by some to be too large.

The tree is interfering with my telephone line

If you find that your phone line is being disrupted, get in touch with your telephone provider who will be able to investigate the issue as it may not be as a result of the tree.

It is the telephone service providers' responsibility to maintain your service.

Pruning is a temporary solution and the problem may reoccur when branches grow back.

Sponsoring a tree to be planted in a park or other council-owned land

Contact us if you would like to sponsor a tree. Council officers can suggest planting locations, and advise on the most suitable tree for a location from the selection of species available. Officers will arrange for the supply, planting, and care for the selected tree(s) in the agreed location.

Each tree will be approximately 2.5m tall and will be planted in the next planting season, between November and March.

The cost for planting a standard tree is from £250- £500 (inclusive of VAT).

If you would like to sponsor a tree, contact us: