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Common issues associated with trees

Trees overhanging your property

Common complaints received regarding trees, is that they block light, shade gardens and drop leaves/fruits. An individual’s tolerance of these complaints is a subjective and personal matter and there are a variety of other potential nuisances associated with trees, most of which are minor or seasonal and are considered to be social problems associated with living near trees. However, we will not automatically fell or prune council owned trees solely for the reason that they are causing inconvenience.

It is your common law right to cut back any branches which are overhanging and interfering with your property, as long as your actions don’t affect the health of the tree as a whole. You must check with your local district/borough council before carrying out any work, in case the tree is covered by a tree preservation order or is in a conservation area.

Trees growing into wires

Contact  BT or Western Power about the tree. If the tree is damaging their equipment they will take steps to prevent further damage.

Droppings and other tree related detritus on cars/drives/property

Trees provide homes for a variety of species including birds, squirrels and insects. A common complaint about trees is that they drop sap onto property, however, often it is the case that this substance is not actually sap but in fact a dilute sugar solution produced and excreted by aphids known as honeydew. This sugary waste can accumulate on surfaces under the tree’s canopy and can then become colonised by sooty moulds which grow on the sugar-rich waste.

This waste is sticky and can be troublesome especially on pedestrian areas such as footways (pavements), seating areas or car parks and property. Honeydew deposit can become slippery after rainfall.

Seasonal change affects trees and with it they shed petals, leaves, seeds, twigs and fruit. These are often carried freely in the wind and are largely outside of the council’s control.

Although detritus associated with trees can be an inconvenience, such as those described above, they are not recognised as a legal nuisance and are not justification for the removal or pruning of a highway tree.

Tree roots damaging property

If you suspect that the roots of a council owned tree are causing damage to your property, such as the foundations or private drainage, you must get evidence from a professional tree surveyor


  Concerned about a tree on the highway?

If you remain concerned about a tree on the highway, please use Report It to tell us the problem and in the majority of cases our tree officers will be able to provide suitable advice.

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