Trees and hedges guidance

Last updated: 2 November 2021

Removing or working on a protected tree

The council will not pay for any works to privately owned trees. All landowners are responsible for ensuring their trees are safe and any pruning work required will be at the landowner’s expense.

Claiming compensation from the council if a protected tree causes damage

All landowners are responsible for keeping their trees are safe, even when the tree is protected

Landowners are advised to have their trees inspected regularly and to act upon any significant defect reported to them. Inspections can be carried out by the Arboricultural Association.

If your application to do work to a protected tree for safety reasons is refused, and the tree causes harm in the 12 months following that refusal, there are limited compensation provisions.

You are advised to take your own independent legal advice in such cases. Trees do change over time but they do remain the responsibility of the landowner; if after 12 months it is believed the tree's condition has worsened a repeat application can be made.

If permission is refused to remove a tree that has already caused damage to drives, walls, etc. again you are advised to take your own independent legal advice.

Removing a protected tree that is dead.

Any protected tree that is dead or dangerous is exempt from the TPO and can be removed without the need to submit an application or a written notice for a tree in a conservation area.

However, you may be asked for proof that the tree is dead. For more information on what to do read Check if you can work on a tree.