We are responsible for managing trees on our own land including parks, highways, schools and public green spaces. We are also committed to the preservation of trees which are included in a Tree Preservation Order or situated within conservation areas.
If you have a query about the management of trees on public land in your neighbourhood you should contact us. We will also deal with trees situated within the public highway, adjacent to the road or on roadside verges. If your enquiry relates to woodlands we own, rather than trees, there is further information on our forest and woodland management page.
Some trees are protected by law, including those covered by Tree Preservation Orders and those lying within conservation areas. We are primarily responsible for evaluating the impact of proposed tree works on the character of conservation areas and managing over 700 Tree Preservation Orders. More information can be found on the protected trees page.
Privately owned trees
Trees on private land are not the responsibility of the council. If you need advice about a tree on your own land you should consult a qualified arboriculturalist. If you have concerns over a tree on privately owned land other than your own, you will need to speak to the landowner. The Department for Communities and Local Government website contains some useful guidance on trees and high hedges.
Advice for private landowners
The law protects trees and woodland under a range of legislation that makes it an offence to fell or prune trees without permission.
- Always contact us to ensure that the trees are not covered by a Tree Preservation Order, planning constraints or are within a conservation area. See our protected trees information for further advice.
- Employ a suitably trained professional tree surgeon who is covered by Public Liability Insurance. Always ask for proof.
- Be very cautious before you employ unsolicited house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be professional tree surgeons.
- Reputable tree surgeons can be found in the Yellow Pages or by contacting a relevant professional body such as the Arboricultural Association.
Woodland in private ownership is also subject to protection under the Forestry Act. Before undertaking any works in woodland you should check with the Forestry Commission.
Tree Management Policy
A consultation was held between December 2013 and March 2014 to establish a countywide Tree Management Policy. Our Cabinet agreed the implementation of the policy: thebrings all tree management procedures together into one document and explains:
- how our 'highways tree inspection programme' works
- how we will deal with complaints and reports about our trees
- how we prioritise work and the reasons why work will or won't be done
- how and why we manage our tree stock
- what powers we have over trees on private land
- how the policy will affect planning and development control
- how we make decisions and what affects the decisions
It will also encourage others people who are responsible for trees to take a positive approach to the management of the trees in their care.