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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Tree management

We are responsible for managing trees on our own land including parks, roads 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.

Council-owned trees

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 next to public roads or on roadside verges. If your enquiry relates to woodlands we own, rather than trees, see our  page.

Protected trees

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 our responsibility. 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 online or by contacting a relevant professional body such as the Arboricultural Association.

Privately-owned woodland

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

Our  Icon for pdf Tree Management Policy (PDF, 359.2kb)  brings 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.