The information on this page is designed to provide you with some useful advice if you are experiencing issues with a Council owned tree. Alternatively, if you wish to exercise your Common Law Right to remove (abate) the nuisance associated with encroaching trees, then please view and follow the steps listed on the overhanging trees section.
School trees are managed via Telford & Wrekin’s Education Department or as in the case of Academies managed directly. View information on how to report any issues with trees by going directly to the school in the first instance.
We will not prune, fell or reduce the height of a Council owned tree on the following basis:
- There is no legal right to a ‘view’.
- It maybe that your satellite or tv provider will be able to suggest an alternative solution to the problem, for example relocating the aerial/dish or means to boost the signal.
A tree is not dangerous just because it may be considered too big or too tall for its surroundings. Other problems and information can be seen by downloading the "Dangerous Trees Standards" for the Council to consider it to be dangerous and warrant crown or height reduction.
- there is no legal right to prune, fell or remove a tree under these circumstances.
- Bees are protected species and advice should be taken before considering their removal.
- On private trees you may be able to dispose of individual wasps using an aerosol insect repellent spray, but this will not control or eliminate the nest itself. Ideally the whole nest should be destroyed. This can be achieved with great caution but it is far safer to use pest control experts. If the nest is within a Council tree, contact us to report.
- The Council only provides service for rats and mice. View information about a pest control service for rats and mice. For pests in trees you are advised to engage a reputable company in this instance, visit the British Pest Control Association website.
- Honeydew is caused by greenfly (aphids) feeding on the tree, which excrete a sugary sap. Often the honeydew is colonised by a mould, which causes it to go black.
- 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 and any re-growth is often more likely to be colonised by greenfly thereby potentially increasing the problem. Honeydew is a natural and seasonal problem. Where honeydew affects cars, warm soapy water will remove the substance, particularly if you wash the car as soon as possible.
- Blossom / fruit / seed fall is a natural occurrence, which cannot be avoided by pruning.
- There is no legal responsibility for the council to remove blossom/fruit/seed fall from private gardens. Where action has been initiated against public bodies on a national basis, cases have been dismissed by the judge as a ‘waste of court time’
- Roads, streets or the highway are swept of excessive blossom / fallen fruit as necessary. Similarly paths through parks and green spaces will be swept of blossom / fallen fruit as part of normal cleaning cycles.
- Germinating seed such a sycamore / ash will not be removed from surrounding areas such as residential gardens.
- The loss of leaves from trees in the autumn is part of the natural cycle and cannot be avoided by pruning.
- There is no legal responsibility for the council to remove leaves from private gardens. Where action has been initiated against public bodies on a national basis, cases have been dismissed by the judge as a ‘waste of court time’
- The maintenance of gutters is the responsibility of the landowner and the Council is not obliged to remove leaves that may have fallen from Council owned trees. Where gutters are regularly blocked by fallen leaves gutter guards may be fitted to provide a low maintenance solution.
The council will not visit the site to complete an inspection.
- Bird droppings may be a nuisance, but the problem is not considered a sufficient reason to prune or remove a tree. Nesting birds are protected visit the GOV.UK website for information on the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (and other related wildlife law).
- In law there is no general right to light.
- We often get requests to lop, top or fell trees adjacent to recently acquired properties. Purchasers should be aware that the authority will not prune trees for a perceived right to light or shading of gardens in such circumstances.
- If natural light is being blocked by the growth of a hedge then action may be taken to reduce the problem under the High Hedges Act Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on the High Hedges Act Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. View information about high hedges.
- In some situations, shading contributes to the growth of algae on pathways. Where the algae occurs on private property advice will be given on the best way to manage it.
- In some circumstances council trees are implicated in excessively dry or excessively damp gardens, where this occurs we will look at each case and agree a remedy with the relevant resident to help relieve the problems experienced.
Customer advice: electricity cables
- The Council is not permitted to prune around electricity cables. Residents should visit the Western Power website who can resolve the problem by cutting back vegetation that is interfering with the cable. They can be contacted at 0800 396 3080. Never attempt to prune around wires yourself as you risk being electrocuted.
Customer advice: telephone cables
- Open Reach is responsible for all telecommunications equipment up to the point the cable enters your property at the master phone socket.
- There could be many reasons for faults within the telephone and broadband network. In order to resolve an issue you should contact your phone and broadband provider direct. This is the company you pay your bills too. This will not be Open Reach as they are only responsible for the infrastructure. Your provider will be able to test the line and provide advice.
- Your provider may send an engineer out to your property or arrange on your behalf an Open Reach Engineer to visit the address if the problem cannot be resolved.
- Under Schedule 2 of the Telecommunication Act 1984 it is the responsibility of the “operator of the service”, (currently Open Reach) to maintain and repair the infrastructure. This includes pruning around telephone cables and replacing damaged cables at their cost. If you believe a tree branch is causing the problem you should mention this to your service provider.
Movement and settling of properties over time is natural as a result of changes to soil, weight of a building on the land and for new houses, drying out of the structure and timbers.
I you believe that your house is suffering subsidence you should contact your insurance company for advice. They will likely come out and visit the property to make an assessment.
- Contact your insurance company and inform them that you may have subsidence.
- If the tree is a council tree and your insurance company supports a the conclusion of subsidence they will need to order site investigations to establish the cause. In order to claim against the Council your insurance company will need to provide us with:
- root samples with DNA (starch content)
- soil samples (texture analysis)
- crack monitoring (over a 12 month period)
- soil plasticity index
- distortion monitoring
- risk of heave.
Once we have received all requested evidence we will process your claim as part of our insurance claims process.
- In assessing your claim and any potential action we will check id the tree is protected via a TPO or Conservation order. We will also assess the value of the tee using the CAVAT value of tree assessment.
- Trees may not always be removed as a result of a subsidence claim if there is a more appropriate way of managing the subsidence risk. In some cases the removal of a tree may not be possible due to the risk of heave.
Last updated: 18/08/2022 10:06