Property and land owners must make sure that the trees on their land are safe. All trees on your property which are close to the road or pavement should be regularly inspected, preferably by a specialist. The Arboricultural Association can provide contact details for specialists.
You must take action if a tree on your land:
- stops vehicles or pedestrians using the road or pavement safely
- is dead or might fall over
- blocks the line of sight at a road junction
- blocks streetlights, pelican crossings or road signs.
If a tree on your land overhangs the road
Please trim it back so that there are no low hanging branches. The minimum height allowed for overhanging branches depends on the type of road. Here are the rules:
- For A roads you must prune any overhanging branches lower than 7m above the road
- For B and C roads you must prune any overhanging branches lower than 6m above the road
- For D roads branches you must prune any overhanging branches lower than 5.4m above the road
- Over footways, pavements and pathways you must prune any overhanging branches lower than 2.3m.
The image below shows the minimum height allowed for overhanging branches by road type. (Please click on the image to enlarge)
Before you carry work on your tree
Please contact us if you or your tree specialist intend to carry out work on your trees from the highway. We want to ensure safety measures are in place to protect you, vehicles and pedestrians.
If your tree has a Tree Preservation Order
If your tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order and you want to carry out work on it. You have to tell your local borough or district council about the work.
Our highway tree inspections may have identified your tree as a hazard. We send out a letter to let you know about the hazard we have seen. Our FAQs for resolving tree issues (PDF) provides more information about land owner's responsibilities.
Files available to download
- Frequently asked questions about trees on private land near the highway (197.5 KB)
Frequently asked questions surrounding tree issues