Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by Darlington Borough Council - News Item

Householders reminded of rules on tree felling

Householders reminded of rules on tree felling
19 April 2021

Householders across Darlington have been reminded they should not cut down any trees that are not on land they own.

Darlington Borough Council has issued the reminder following a series of incidents in which several trees on council land were felled without permission, which are now under investigation.

Ian Thompson, Darlington Borough Council’s assistant director for community services, said:

“Residents should not cut down trees that are on council land, as they may face prosecution. While a landowner has the right to remove vegetation, such as tree branches or roots that encroach on their property, this is only to the boundary and no further.

“Any work carried out beyond the boundary that has not ben authorised could lead to prosecution for trespass or criminal damage, so we want to remind residents of this to ensure they do not fall foul of the law.”

He added: “Some trees may be protected by a Conservation Area, a group or single Tree Preservation Order and if anyone wanted to carry out work on these trees application would have to be made to the council’s planning department. If this is not done, they could face fines of up to £20,000 and a criminal record.”

Darlington Borough Council has a policy only to fell trees that are dead, dying, diseased, dangerous or have been proven to have caused damage to a building.

The council’s tree management team does thin out young/early/mature trees to create better specimens in tree areas. Where trees are removed others are planted to replace them as close as possible to the site, this includes instances where trees are removed for development.

For more information about trees and the council’s arboriculture/tree management team, visit