Looking after our parks

Fallen or overhanging trees

We manage and maintain thousands of publicly owned trees, shrubs, parks, conservation areas, country parks and areas of green belt land in the borough.

For emergency reports, such as fallen branches obstructing a footpath or highway, that require an immediate response, please call 01895 556000 (between 8am and 6pm) or 01895 250111 (out of hours).

Street trees and overhanging branches

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.

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.

​​​​​​​Report issues with tree branches

Root issues

It is hard for trees to exist in our streets and parks without causing some minor damage to footpaths, walls and other hard surfaces.

Where tree roots are causing severe damage and, subsequently causing a threat to public safety, tree removal and replacement is sometimes considered.

​​​​​​​Report tree root issues

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.

Report street cleansing issue

Other tree complaints

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.
  • 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.

Report a problem with a tree

Page last updated: 19 Oct 2022