Trees and hedges
We maintain trees and hedges alongside roads and footways to ensure they are not a danger to road users.
Most trees and hedges by the road are not owned by us, but by private landowners. It is the landowners who are responsible for maintaining them. However, we can make sure work is carried out if they present a danger to road users. The owner of the tree or hedge would normally have to pay for the necessary work.
Where trees or hedges are posing a danger to road users by obscuring traffic signs/signals and we own the tree or hedge, we will prune the branches. If the tree or hedge is on private land, we can take legal action to force the owner to remove the danger within 14 days. If the owner does not take action, we may carry out the work and recover costs from the owner.
During the summer we have a programme to cut back trees and hedges which are blocking roads or footways.
Report a problem with trees or hedges
Report a problem with trees or hedges online using the link below. Please note that some trees and hedges have legal protection. Contact your local district council for more information.
Neighbours' trees and hedges
On your property
We would advise you to try and deal with issues informally at first.
Try to speak to the owner in the first instance to raise your concerns and try to resolve the issue.
- The owner should commission a tree survey to make sure it is safe, or whether your concerns are justified
- If this does not happen then you could undertake your own survey
- If it is found to be dangerous then this should be discussed with the owner and ask that they carry out the necessary work
- If that does not resolve the issue, you could consider mediation between both parties and a neutral person. This could be a local councillor
- If no solution or compromise is found and there is a genuine safety concern, then you can contact your district council to see if they will intervene but they will require some initial evidence to proceed
On the highway
If the tree is presenting a danger on the highway then we and colleagues at Via have a legal obligation to keep the highway safe. We must investigate any enquiry stating a tree was causing a danger to the highway, which covers anything within falling distance of the highway or with the potential to reach the highway should the tree fail.
If the owner does not take action, our teams or the relevant district council may carry out work to make the tree safe and recover costs from the tree owner.
If a neighbour’s tree is blocking your light you cannot force them to cut it down. As long as the tree is safe and is not causing damage, your neighbour is entitled to grow the tree.
If a neighbour's hedge is blocking your light and you wish to take action, you may be able to do so under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Please contact your district council for advice.
Overhanging your property
If a neighbour’s tree or hedge is growing over into your property, you cannot make them cut it back. However, you do have the right to remove overgrowing branches yourself, but only back to the common boundary. Any cuttings must be offered back to the tree or hedge owner.
If leaves have blown onto your property from a neighbour’s tree, you cannot expect the tree owner to clean up the leaves or charge them if you do so.