The Council receives many enquiries and complaints every year about trees on its land, which range from general questions about pruning and planting to reporting trees in a dangerous condition. Following any enquiry, officers will determine the level of response required following the guidelines below.

Level 1 - (within 24 hours)

  • Where a tree or part of a tree is deemed to be an immediate threat to public safety, for example a tree that has died and become brittle and there is a high risk of tree failure
  • Where a tree or part of a tree has failed and is causing a hazard, this could be due to adverse weather, extreme decay or an act of vandalism
  • Where a tree or part of a tree is causing an extreme obstruction to a road, footpath or major right of way

Level 2 - (within 8 weeks)

  • Where a tree or part of a tree is deemed by a qualified officer to be a possible threat to public safety, but it has not yet become a high risk
  • A tree’s upper canopy is physically touching a property and has the potential to cause physical damage
  • Where a tree or part of a tree is impeding safe passage on a footway/highway
  • Where it is necessary to carry out pruning to improve access or increase light infiltration where a resident is disabled or partially sighted
  • Where required to prune or remove a tree that has been shown to be a major contributor to soil shrinkage and the cause of serious structural damage to buildings.  Structural problems must always be carefully investigated particularly where there is the possibility of a potential claim against the Council. This subject is looked at in more detail in insurance issues section 6.4
  • Where necessary to prune or fell a tree that may be preventing essential repairs to property and it is not possible to overcome the problem by any other means than removal
  • Where necessary to prune or remove a tree that can be used to gain criminal access or may be obstructing essential police or Council-monitored CCTV surveillance and it is not possible to remove or minimise the problem by any other means such as removing or repositioning the camera/target
  • Where necessary to conduct root pruning to improve safety on the footway and carriageway. This may also require compensatory crown pruning following as well

Level 3 (Council trees on a minimum of a four yearly cyclical programme and education site trees offered an annual inspection)

  • Crown lifting to provide the legal clearance on public footway and carriageway
  • Crown thinning to minimise general nuisance problems such as shading, overhang to properties
  • Hanging (broken) branches in a park or open space if in a low use area
  • Pruning trees away from street furniture such as telephone lines and streetlights
  • Tree stump removal
  • All recommended tree works will be in accordance with British Standard BS3998 (2010) and other best practice guidelines.