Trees and high hedges

Report problems with trees

You can report a problem with trees and track progress online.
Report problems with trees >>

You can report:

  • dead trees
  • trees blocking street lights
  • trees blocking a road sign
  • tree roots exposed / causing damage
  • vandalised trees
  • fallen fruit
  • fallen leaves
  • fallen trees blocking the road or a pavement

Inspecting trees

If there is a serious hazard reported and a threat to Health and Safety, Tree Officers will inspect within 20 days.

Tree Officers will not inspect trees during this period where the complaint relates to the topping, lopping or felling of otherwise healthy trees that would otherwise need no maintenance, to:

  • alleviate problems such as the build up of leaves, seeds, berries or other minor debris on a neighbouring property
  • allow more light to a property, where the trees in question would not otherwise require any surgery to improve television or satellite reception
  • prevent roots entering already broken pipes

For all inspections relating to Ash Dieback, Acute Oak Decline and other diseases, please refer to the Forestry Commission (link opens in new window).

Nuisance trees

A nuisance tree must cause significant interference to a neighbour's convenience and comfort.

We do not undertake the topping, lopping or felling of otherwise healthy trees that would otherwise need no maintenance to solve problems such as the build up of leaves, seeds, berries or other minor debris on a neighbouring property.

Trees overhanging boundaries

You can prune back overhanging branches back to your boundary without gaining the permission from the neighbouring landowner. However, we do recommend speaking to them first.

All cuttings from the tree must then be offered back (not simply thrown over the fence) to the owner of the tree.

If the owner does not want the cuttings (they are not obliged to take them back), then it will be your responsibility to dispose of the cuttings.

You will need to notify us before carrying out any works if the tree is:

  • in a Conservation Area
  • protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

Trees blocking light

A householder has no right to light or a view. A nuisance does not include an obstructed view. We will look each request to prune trees for extra light individually. The householder may be assisted where appropriate, if this is possible without excess injury to or removal of healthy trees or branches.

We do not undertake the topping, lopping or felling of otherwise healthy trees that would otherwise need no maintenance, simply to allow more light to a property, where the trees in question would not otherwise require any surgery.

Ivy on trees

Ivy causes no direct damage to trees. We only remove ivy from trees if it aids visual tree health assessment.

In woodland, ivy has a variety of conservation benefits and forms an integral part of the natural habitat.

It is a climbing, scrambling plant abundant as a groundcover shrub in the under storey of many rural woodlands.

In the urban environment, there is the need to balance 3 main considerations for its retention:

  • tree safety
  • conservation
  • aesthetics

However, in some situations, it may be considered unsightly and more importantly can create problems for efficient management by obscuring structural defects and fungal fruiting bodies.

It also increases the weight of a tree's crown and the 'sail' effect during the wet, windier, winter months, when deciduous trees have shed their leaves.

Trees causing poor satellite and TV reception

There is no requirement in law to television reception.

Existing trees growing on neighbouring land, which are thought to interfere with television reception, are unlikely to be regarded as a nuisance in law (especially with satellite transmissions).

Trees and utility services

It is unusual for roots to break drains and pipework. However, tree roots can attack old pipes with poor joints. When repairs are required, a proliferation of tree roots often leads to the blame being placed with a nearby tree.

We do not undertake the topping, lopping or felling of otherwise healthy trees that would otherwise need no maintenance simply to prevent roots entering already broken pipes.

The replacement of faulty drains / pipes with modern materials will usually eliminate the leak and stop problems from reoccurring.

Contact your buildings insurance company if you feel roots are responsible for any damage.

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