Last updated:

2nd October 2023

Trees and their maintenance

Dangerous trees     

We will undertake work to trees on public land to maintain public safety or the health of the tree. 

We can't prune privately owned trees. It is the landowner’s responsibility to prune back trees that overhang their property and ensure that a tree is not protected before carrying out any works.

If you need to carry out work to a protected tree that is in a dangerous position, you should notify us at least 5 days prior to doing so. Use our 5 day notice form (PDF document) to let us know and email it to

Urgent - Tree(s) obstructing the public highway

If you're reporting an urgent issue that requires immediate attention, call 0118 974 6000 and select the 'highways' option. 

An urgent issue is defined as something that is very likely to present an imminent threat to life, serious injury or serious damage to property - we aim to respond to urgent issues within 2 hours.

Non-urgent tree enquiries

To report problems you'll need to give us:

  • The exact location of the tree - please select the nearest road and use the location information box to direct us to the tree(s)
  • The nature of the problem
  • Photo(s) showing the problem (if possible)

We aim to respond within 28 days, however if we are unable to locate the problem due to insufficient details the enquiry will be closed with no further action. 

Report non urgent tree enquires

Our tree maintenance policy

Overhanging trees

There is no legal requirement or obligation for cutting back of height or spread of roots and branches from overhanging trees.

Where trees are reported to overhang private properties and gardens we will agree to cut back only if it is causing or will cause physical damage to a property wall, fence or roof.

We are not able to cut back trees for the following reasons

  • Height and size
  • Fouling birds
  • Light
  • Falling leaves, sap, berries, flowers or pollen
  • Overhanging with no danger to property
  • Views
  • Roots - unless they cause structural damage 

Privately owned trees

With the exception of protected trees - trees included in a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area - any property owner is within their legal right to cut back to the boundary line if they wish to do so. The cuttings will have to be disposed of by the property owner. 

For emergencies relating to privately owned trees, contact a local tree contractor, visit the Arboricultural Association website, or read our Frequently Asked Questions About Trees

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