Trees & hedges: Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Overhanging branches

Branches overhanging property boundaries

We do not prune back overhanging branches on trees that we own and we are not legally obliged to do so.

Where branches are encroaching upon your property, you may have them pruned back in line with your boundary, but no further. Any branch removal should be done to recognised pruning points to ensure that minimal harm is done to the tree. The tree must remain viable and the work carried out should not impact on other trees or property in the vicinity.

If you engage a contractor to carry out work on a council-owned tree, the contractor should be Arboricultural Association-approved.  Any cuttings must be disposed of in a responsible manner, i.e. not dumped on public property or private land. If access onto City Council land is required, permission must be sought from us first. Please contact us using the details provided.

Some trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order. This is a legally enforceable order made by a local planning authority which in general makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the planning authority's permission. If you want to undertake any work to a tree with a Tree Preservation Order on it, you will need to complete and submit this application form.

Anyone proposing to cut down, top or lop a tree in a Conservation Area, whether or not it is covered by a tree preservation order, has to give 6 weeks notice to the local authority. This covers all trees that have a diameter of 7.5cm or more, measured at 1.5m above ground level.  Please contact our Planning Services department for further information.