Report a problem with a tree

We only inspect a reported issue with a tree if it’s on public land or if it’s on private land and blocking a public right of way

If the tree does not fit into either of these categories, we will not inspect it. If the tree is on private land and not blocking a public right of way, you should report it to the landowner.

Use our form to report an issue with a tree.

Report an issue with a tree

Check the progress of an existing report

Use the reference number found on your confirmation email to check the status of your report.

We cannot provide you with a status update or escalate your issue without your reference number unless you have made this report via My B&D.

View the status of an existing report

Trees we're responsible for

We manage almost all council-owned trees, including amenity green trees found on grassed areas around housing estates, council-owned flats and on the corners of roads.

We also manage trees planted along roads and adopted public rights of way, on roundabouts, on central reservations, on highway verges, parks and cemeteries.

Trees pruning schedule

We maintain our trees on cyclical pruning schedules, usually running from October to March. The majority of the trees are pruned once every 4 years but we also prune throughout the year as tree surveys are completed.

We only work outside these schedules if the tree is dead, dying or we've inspected it and consider it dangerous. All our trees are inspected for health and safety issues every 4 years.

Some species of trees require pollarding, a pruning method that restricts the height of a tree. This can be either annually, 2 years or 3 years.

Trees pruning schedule

Street trees

Street trees are on a 4-year pruning cycle for non-pollarded trees. Pollarded trees are pruned every 1, 2 or 3 years.

Amenity green trees

Amenity greens are grassed areas around housing estates, council-owned flats and on the corners of roads. These are all pruned every 4 years.

Park trees

Park trees are inspected every 4 years. Work is only undertaken if deemed necessary after inspection.

Trees we're not responsible for

Council properties - individual gardens

Under your tenancy agreement you're responsible for the maintenance of your garden, including trees.

Private property

We do not undertake works on privately owned trees. These include trees in private gardens, alleys or land.

To investigate land ownership make a Land Registry search.

School trees

We will only inspect school trees at the request of the school. Contact the relevant school if you are concerned about a tree located within its grounds.

Dealing with a neighbour's tree

Anyone can plant any tree of any size anywhere on their land.

If a neighbour has a large tree growing close to your boundary, their only obligation is to make sure it is safe.

That means they have no responsibility for leaves from their tree blocking your gutters – leaf fall is regarded as a natural event for which the owner can't be held responsible.

However, if your neighbour has planted a very tall evergreen hedge, you might be able to make a complaint. More information is available from Department for Communities and Local Government.

Overhanging trees

If a neighbour’s tree overhangs your boundary, you have some rights to manage the branches and roots that extend into your property.

However, before you undertake any work it is important to check the tree is not covered by a Tree Preservation Order, or located within a conservation area.

Pruning overhanging branches

You may prune the branches of trees and hedges overhanging your land, up to the boundary. You do not need the owner’s permission, but you must not trespass onto their land to carry out the work. You must offer to return the cut wood and any fruit that is attached or has fallen onto your land.

Pruning roots

If you think the roots of your neighbour’s tree are causing damage to your property, you should seek advice from a tree care professional or a building surveyor. If they confirm your suspicions, notify your building insurer. The insurer may carry out further investigations and negotiate with your neighbour and their insurer.

Your responsibilities

You have a duty of care and may be held liable for criminal damage if any work you do (or ask others to do on your behalf) causes the tree to die or become dangerous.

Safety concerns

If you are worried about the safety of a neighbour’s tree, it is important to make sure that it really is dangerous before taking any steps. You should contact a specialist tree consultant or contractor. Once you're sure of your facts, you should notify the owner of the tree and ask them to address the problem.

If they fail to do so and damage accrues from this negligence, you may take action against them through the courts. It may be possible to obtain an injunction requiring the owner to take any necessary action.

What we can do

We only have the power to deal with trees which are imminently dangerous, such as uprooted trees and fallen trees. We can't take action against a neighbour’s tree or a tree on private land just because of any fear or apprehension it causes you.

Advice on trees that block light

There’s no legislation compelling owners to control the height of their trees, unlike evergreen hedges. If a neighbour’s tree is blocking light from your property, they have no legal responsibility to resolve the issue.

If you have concerns regarding a hedge or tree

Ask your neighbour how they intend to maintain it. You may be able to cut the overhanging branches back to the boundary.

Civil action

In some cases you might be able to bring a civil action against your neighbour. You should consult a solicitor to see if you have grounds to proceed with this. We cannot become involved in this issue.

If you think a council-owned tree has damaged your property

If you think a council-owned tree is damaging your property you should provide an independent surveyor’s report to that effect, including evidence. Your insurance company may be able to advise you on this matter.