Trees and hedges are the responsibility of the owner of the land they are situated on. The owner has a legal obligation to keep them from encroaching on the highway.
Before reporting overgrown trees or hedges please read the notes below to see what issues the council has the power to help with.
Tree and hedge issues to report to the council
- Trees or hedges overhanging or encroaching on a public footpath
- Trees or hedges overhanging or obstructing visibility on a public road
- Dead or diseased trees on public land
We may serve a hedge cutting notice which states that the trees or hedges need to be cut back within 28 days. If the landowner fails to do this, the notice may be enforceable in court. However, it is very rare for this to happen.
If an inspector believes the overhang is causing a serious problem, they may have the works carried out and then bill the landowner. This would only happen in rare circumstances, when all other attempts have failed.
A tree which is diseased, damaged or dead may be dangerous, but a definitive assessment is required by a qualified tree care specialist. Trees are not dangerous simply because they are tall or large.
Other tree and hedge issues
Trees or foliage blocking light to your property
Any case relating to loss of light has to be proved in the Civil Court. For more information visit GOV.UK Law Commission consultation on the current law on rights to light
Trees blocking satellite TV signal
Paying for a television licence entitles you to possess and use a receiver - the television box itself. There is no right to an analogue or digital TV signal that comes over a neighbouring property.
A tree owner is not legally obliged to cut back growth from a neighbour’s property. The neighbour is free to cut back any branches overhanging his own property but may need to check whether the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
You can request to view copies of Tree Preservation Orders. Please contact the Customer Service Centre, Franklin House, 4 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BB to make an appointment. Any tree in a conservation area counts as having a TPO.
Leaf and seed drop
We will not automatically remove limbs of trees to prevent leaf and/or seed drop if the tree is otherwise healthy.
Trees entangling overhead cables
Please report these issues to the owner of the cables, for example, British Telecom.
Timing of tree works
We follow the guidelines issued by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Wildlife and Conservation groups to protect birds during the nesting season. This means we generally stop tree works between March and August and our tree teams will always double check an area where tree works have been planned on the day they hope to carry out tree works. If there is any likelihood that the works would disturb nesting birds or other wildlife, works would be postponed until later in the year.
Report overhanging trees or hedges
Use our online form to report trees or hedges causing an obstruction to pedestrians or road users.
Please provide the location of the overgrown hedge or tree - street name, road number and any landmarks.