Street and park trees

We are responsible for managing approximately 163,000 trees on residential streets, adjacent to major roads, and in parks and open spaces throughout the county borough.

We have a legal obligation to undertake maintenance works with regard to:

  • health and safety
  • allowing the clear and safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles
  • abatement of legal nuisance

We will not just remove or prune trees without good justification. It has a duty to manage the tree stock for the benefit of the wider community as a whole and in accordance with good arboricultural practices.

Street tree management

To meet our legal obligations we manage our trees by carrying out regular cyclical inspections by suitably qualified arboriculturists. Each inspection involves an assessment of the tree's health and condition, as well as its size, and identifies any work required at that time or in the foreseeable future.

Requests for pruning and tree removal that comply with the criteria for legal nuisance, health and safety, or to clear highway signage and passage will be inspected at the appropriate priority level and any necessary work undertaken accordingly.

Following an inspection, if the nature of the work is not covered by any of these, and there is no sound arboricultural reason for pruning works, then there will not be any pruning/removal works at that time.

Tree removal is only done as a last resort, such as the tree being unsafe or unsustainable in its location. If it is ever brought to our attention that the condition of a tree has significantly altered since the most recent inspection, then a fresh inspection will be carried out if one of our Tree Officers thinks it would be expedient to do so.

Parks tree management

We manage four Green Flag awarded parks, ten cemeteries, and several hundred other parks, recreation grounds and assorted open spaces within the borough.

Many of these sites have a large number of trees as well as complete public access. Therefore, it is important to keep the trees in good condition, within the existing budget constraints.

We are currently moving towards a regime of routine planned inspections and pruning maintenance for such sites. At present, residents, council officers, or elected council Members may bring to our attention specific issues concerning trees in open spaces - these may include queries regarding health and safety or legal nuisance issues - which are then addressed accordingly in a similar manner to those trees on streets or adjacent to public highways.