Trees and hedges guidance

Last updated: 2 November 2021

What the council can help with

Inspections of your tree by the council

The council does not inspect trees on private property. We advise that you find an Arboricultural Association accredited consultant or accredited tree company for this work.

Pruning of your tree by the council

The council does not carry out work on privately owned trees, even if the tree is protected. We recommend that you find an Arboricultural Association accredited company for this work.

Protected trees

Please read more about protected trees here.

Issues with neighbours not maintaining their trees

The council does not intervene in disputes about trees on private property. You will need to discuss your concerns with the owner of the trees.

Tree ownership

A tree is owned by the owner of the land where it stands. If a tree straddles a border, ownership lies with the land on which it was originally planted. This can be difficult to determine so in practice shared ownership is often assumed.

If the council does not own or maintain the tree, you will need to contact HM Land Registry to do a search to establish who the owner is.

Swaying trees

When a tree sways in the wind it is often taken as a sign that it is becoming unstable. This is in fact rarely the case.

The roots anchor the tree into the ground and it is only if they become loose at the whole root plate that they may be a cause for concern.

The council did not consult me before doing work near my home

Due to the number of trees, the council maintains it is not practical to consult with residents about routine maintenance.