What we don't investigate

We will only act on the below if ordered to do so by a court of law.

Trees blocking natural light

To improve natural light to private property unless it is required by a court order to do so. Where trees growing naturally within the environment are blocking light into a property there is no legal ‘right to light’. The tree owner is not by law obliged or required to carry out work to the tree for the benefit of level of light to a third party, unless the third party has brought a successful action through the courts demonstrating that a ‘right to light’ exists.

If natural light is being blocked by the growth of a predominantly evergreen hedge, then action may be taken to reduce the problem under the High Hedges Act, Part 8 of the Antisocial Behaviour Act, 2003.

Further information should be sought through our planning department.

Tree roots and drains

To prevent roots entering private drains that are already broken or damaged. Tree roots typically enter drains that are already broken or damaged. Trees themselves very rarely break or damage the drain in the first place. Tree roots found in a drain are usually a sign of an underlying problem requiring repair of the broken pipe.

If you are concerned about the condition of your drains, then you are advised to contact your water and sewerage company. 

Householders are often responsible for the maintenance of the drains within or on their property.

Trees blocking views

A tree, or group of trees owned or managed us to improve the view from a property.

Leaf fall from trees

To remove or reduce leaf fall or remove fallen leaves from private property. The loss of leaves from trees in the autumn is part of the natural cycle and cannot be avoided by pruning.

Sap from trees

To prevent or reduce honeydew or other sticky residue falling onto private property. Honeydew is caused by greenfly (aphids) feeding on the sap from the leaves and excreting their waste. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to remove the aphid which causes the problem and pruning the tree may only offer temporary relief. Any re-growth is often more likely to be colonised by greenfly, potentially increasing the problem.

Some trees, such as Limes, are more prone to attack by greenfly. In some years, greenfly are more common especially following a mild winter. Honeydew is a natural and seasonal problem.  Where new trees are planted, we try to choose trees that are less likely to have this problem.

Where honeydew affects cars, warm soapy water will remove the substance, particularly if you wash the car as soon as possible.

Blossom fall from trees

To remove or reduce blossom fall from trees or remove fallen blossom from private land. Tree blossom usually heralds the start of Spring. Blossom is a natural occurrence, which cannot be avoided by pruning and is not regarded in law as a statutory nuisance.

Bird droppings from trees

To remove or reduce bird droppings from the tree or remove bird droppings from private land or property. Bird droppings may be a seasonal nuisance, but the problem is not considered to be a sufficient reason to prune or remove a tree. Nesting birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (and other related wildlife law). 

Warm soapy water will usually be enough to remove the bird droppings.

Satellite, television and other communications reception blocked by trees

To enable or ease installation or improve reception of satellite or television receivers. It may be that your satellite or TV provider will be able to suggest an alternative solution to the problem, for example, relocating the aerial or dish.

Note that we will not reimburse costs associated with relocating a TV aerial or satellite dish.

Solar collectors and panels obstructed by trees

To improve the performance of solar water heating collectors or solar panels. We appreciate that there is a need to provide renewable energy resources. Trees have an important role in maintaining and improving local amenity. They contribute to local and national targets in tackling climate change.

The presence of trees must be fully appreciated when considering a suitable location for the placement of solar collectors and panels.

Tree considered too large

Because it is 'too big' or 'too tall'. A tree is not dangerous simply because it may be considered too big for its surroundings. Other problems would need to be present, such as those described in earlier sections in order for us to consider it to be dangerous.

We do not recognise -

  • crown reduction
  • lopping
  • topping
  • pollarding

as a general form of management of our trees as this work can be detrimental to the health and future safety of trees and are only undertaken in exceptional cases.