Trees FAQs

I want to cut down/prune a tree in my garden, do I need permission?

Yes, if the tree :

  • Is covered by a Tree Preservation Order - permission from us
  • Is within a designated Conservation Area - permission from us
  • The property is rented - permission from the landlord
  • Within a property which is part of a relatively new development (up to 5 years) and maybe covered by conditions on the original planning permission.

How do I find out about Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas?

Read more information on Tree Preservation Orders and Conservation Areas or contact us.

How do I get a Tree Preservation Order made?

This is a legal procedure decided and implemented by our Tree Officers contact us for more information.

My neighbour is cutting down/pruning a tree in his garden, does he have permission?

He would need written permission with respect to the first answer. If it does not come under any protection cover, then no permission is required, unless:
  • The tree is on a joint boundary or the workmen require access to adjoining property to carry out the job, then the permission of the other party is required with respect to civil law.
  • The tree is so large and mature that the work, particularly felling, poses potential dangers to property and land and therefore would require clearance and guidance under Health & Safety Regulations.

On a nearby building site, the builders are felling/pruning trees, is this permitted?

The development should have planning permission and the issue of trees, their retention, felling, pruning, and replacement, are part of the deliberation process. Planning permission overrides legal protection of trees, to check contact us.

I have a tree that is protected and I want to do some work to it, how do I get permission, who can give me some advice, and can you recommend someone to do it?

Applications to fell or prune a protected tree must be made to our Tree Officer explaining which tree, what work and why. 

Carrying out the work is the responsibility of the applicant. We cannot recommend suitable contractors because of competition rules. Check the Yellow Pages, local newspapers, trade directories. Collect several competitive tenders and ask about qualifications, membership of trade associations (eg Arboricultural Association, International Society of Arboriculture) and references from previous jobs. Any permission from us will state that the work must be carried out in accordance with British Standard 3998. Ask the prospective contractors what that is. 

There is a tree in our street with a (broken branch/trunk), (branch obstructs path/drive), can you help?

Telephone 0845 607 2005 or visit Worcestershire County Council Report It webpage.

I am having problems with a tree in my neighbour's garden, overhanging branches/blocking light, what can I do?

Civil law allows you to remove any overhanging branches that overhang your property back to the actual boundary line, ie projected up into the airspace over the line. This can technically be done without informing or gaining permission from the neighbour, but it is always much better to at least inform them. Technically the wood removed is owned by the owner of the tree. Therefore it should be offered or returned to that owner. If the tree is protected by any of the means listed in the first question then the appropriate pre-permission will need to be obtained. Alleged blocking of light to the house or garden is a separate situation and there are complex legal issues involved. Consequently if an amicable discussion or agreement between the parties does not resolve the problem then consult a solicitor.

My neighbour has Leylandii (cypress conifer) trees along our boundary and he/she will not reduce their height, what can I do?

I think the tree(s) in my garden/neighbours garden, is causing subsidence/cracks to my house wall(s), what should I do?

You must engage a qualified structural surveyor to carry out a comprehensive survey to provide you with clear evidence and proposals for remediation. There are many other reasons that can cause damage to property other than trees, and an independent appraisal is vital if the end result leads to insurance claims and/or litigation.

I am interested in planting a tree - can you offer any advice?

Our staff can offer general advice about species, size, site or when to plant.