Skip to main content

Maintaining our trees

We are responsible for trees and shrubs near public roads, pavements and footpaths that could cause a risk to pedestrians or vehicles. We don't look after trees on private roads or property. If one of our trees is dead, dying or looks to be dangerous, please report it to us.

Report a problem with a tree

If you are reporting an emergency, please call 0300 200 1003. Please see our road emergencies page for more information on what we define as an emergency.

Page contents

Our tree maintenance

Please see our page on how we maintain our trees to find out how we deal with your reports, enquiries or requests and what we do to keep the roads and pavements clear and safe.

Tree stumps

If we have to remove a tree, we will leave a one metre high stump. We do this for environmental and financial reasons.

If you wish to have a tree removed for reasons other than safety, please contact us. We can provide you with a quote for one of our approved contractors to remove the stump, at your expense.

Tree pruning (pollarding)

Tree pruning, also known as pollarding, is when growth from a tree is cut back to maintain its shape and/or height. Pruning is different to trimming trees back that are posing a safety risk on roads or pavements.

We use the tree's species, age and size to decide if we will prune it. It is not our policy to introduce pruning to an already mature tree that has reached its maximum size.

This is a specialist treatment which we only carry out to approximately 2000 trees. We prune these trees as part of the Council's defence against indirect damage to buildings

It takes 4 years to prune all the trees, with 500 treated every year between late autumn and early spring.

  • Trees that we prune: London plane, lime, common ash, horse chestnut, oak and occasionally beech.
  • Trees that we don't prune: crab apple, cherry, plum, pear, laburnum, silver birch.

Fallen leaves

Fallen leaves on roads are cleared by your local district and borough council. If you have an enquiry about fallen leaves, please see your district or borough council website for their contact options. Clearance of leaves on private land is the responsibility of the land owner.

Please do not use a leaf blower (or other tool) to blow leaves from private land onto the road, pavements or grass verges. This can block drains and cause a hazard to road users.

This also applies to other deposits including sap, fallen blossom, catkins, fruit, nuts, berries and cones.

If you want to cut back a council tree

We may allow work to be carried out on one of our trees providing it does not significantly affect its natural shape and form. This work must be done by us or by an approved tree care professional.

The council will only allow trained specialists to climb trees to carry out works. If a tree overhangs your boundary you may cut small branches that can be reached from the ground, back to your boundary. For safety reasons, if branches are higher than this or if they are wider than your wrist, a specialist will be required to avoid risk of injury or damage. A list of suitable tree care professional can be found on the Arboricultural Association website or by viewing our Approved Traders Scheme.