We manage and maintain thousands of publicly owned trees, shrubs, parks, conservation areas, country parks and areas of green belt land in the borough.
Our priority for management of the borough's street trees is public safety. We carry out pruning of branches where these might obstruct the roads or paths. We also trim back the 'basal growth' (tree shoots that grow at the bottom of some types of tree) each autumn to help keep drivers' sight lines clear and to make it easier for pedestrians to pass.
Routine inspections and surveys are carried out on our park trees, and any priority works identified as being required for example, on dead, dying or dangerous trees, are then carried out by our contractors as appropriate. We do not have a programme of maintenance for protected trees as these are mainly on private property and so are the owner's responsibility to maintain.
There are a number of occasions where a branch from one of our trees might overhang your garden or property. If the branch is touching a house or other building we will inspect the situation, and if appropriate arrange for the branch to be pruned back. Normally other general requests for overhanging branches to be pruned are noted for inclusion in our works programme, and a degree of prioritisation takes place to make best use of funds available. This means that we are unlikely to carry out pruning in every situation where a public tree branch overhangs someone else's land. However, residents may wish to exercise their common law rights in respect of overhanging branches.
We understand that you may have other complaints about trees in the borough and we do aim to investigate all requests, especially those which involve safety risks. Before you submit a request to us, take a look at the points below to see our general responses on popular tree issues:
Trees encroaching on buildings If a branch from a public street tree is touching a house or other building we will inspect the situation and if appropriate arrange for the branch to be pruned back.
Trees next to your property We take a balanced approach to requests to prune trees next to homes, as we often receive strong feedback that people do not want to live in an area where all trees have been removed. However, sometimes it is appropriate for a tree to be pruned to keep it in proportion with its location.
Falling fruit, leaves and blossom We generally decline requests for trees to be felled on these grounds. However we can arrange for the pavement under a particularly productive tree to be swept if the falling produce is a significant problem.
Sticky residue on a parked car Lime trees are an important source of nectar for honeybees and we generally decline requests for removing trees for this reason. However, limes as street trees are gradually being phased out across the borough.
Wasp or bees nest Requests for removal of bees or wasps nests should be reported to the Contact Centre on 01895 556000.