Our arboriculture - or tree management - team look after all trees owned by the council across the borough. This includes highway trees, trees in cemeteries, parks, open spaces and housing areas. They also give advice to the planning department about tree preservation orders, conservation areas and how proposed developments might affect trees. 

Trees in a garden or private land are the responsibility of the landowner. 

Can I prune a tree next to my property?

If the tree or trees are within a conservation area or protected by atree preservation orderyou must apply to the council's planning department. You should inform the owner of the tree(s) as a courtesy.

If the trees are not protected you are within your rights to remove any overhanging vegetation to your boundary. You must offer everything you cut back to the owner.

More information about tree felling and pruning [external link]

How can I tell if a tree is damaging my property?

You should contact your insurer who will be able to answer your questions.

Damage to buildings by trees or plants happens far less than many think. However, problems can happen when poor foundations are built on clay soil, next to the roots of a tree. It is then, usually in long dry periods, that movement can happen in a building’s foundations.

If there is evidence of structural damage to your property and it may be because of council-owned trees or shrubs, you should contact us straight away. We will look in to matter and will take appropriate action to prevent any further problems.

Will the council fell a tree next to my property?

We only remove trees that are dead, diseased or dangerous, or where there is proof that a tree has caused damage to buildings.

Trees are blocking light to my property

There is no automatic right to light or a view in law.

I have trees on my property, what are my responsibilities?

The owner of trees has a duty of care to make sure that they are safe. They should be regularly inspected by a professional tree expert (arboriculturalist). They should have professional indemnity insurance. 

If works are needed to a protected tree then they should be done by a tree expert with public liability insurance.

Who owns the trees next to my property?

We do not hold the records of land ownership, but the Land Registry [external link] will be able to help you.