We are responsible for over 24,000 trees on land that we own.

Trees are an important part of our neighbourhoods that help keep the air we breathe clean, moderate temperatures, give homes to wildlife and boost health and wellbeing. 

We have a duty to ensure that trees under our control are maintained so that they don't pose a risk to people or property. Our trees are therefore inspected regularly to make sure that they are healthy and thriving.

Our priority is to ensure that our trees remain safe.

Please do not attempt to remove or cut back trees in your garden without first asking us for permission. Our qualified tree officers will advise whether this is necessary or safe to do so.

If you have an urgent enquiry about a tree that has snapped or blown over, has lost large branches, has been uprooted and is blocking access to your home/vehicle, please call OneCALL on 0345 8 507 507.

We take action when trees affect:

  • The safety of people or property, as assessed by our professional tree management team.

  • Safety on our roads, such as low branches overhanging a highway or footpath, or when trees obscure road signs or street lamps.

  • The structure of a building. We will carry out work to tree roots if there is clear evidence that a tree is causing subsidence.

However, we are unlikely to carry out work if the issue is that trees are:

  • Obscuring a view or causing loss of light.

  • Obstructing solar panels.

  • Causing interference to TV, satellite or radio equipment reception.

  • Perceived to be too large.

  • Affecting power cables or phone lines (please contact your service provider for further advice).

  • Shedding leaves, pollen, seeds, fruit, honeydew or sticky deposits.

Your tree queries answered

A tree outside my house looks dangerous and moves in the wind

Our tree surveyors are qualified tree experts who will inspect the trees at least once every three years. The movement of a tree in the wind does not always signify that the tree is dangerous, so our inspection will assess its condition and safety.

The tree outside my house is too tall

We won't reduce the height of a tree as a matter of course, as this can stimulate the tree further and cause rapid regrowth which may then cause significant defects to the structure of the tree. This can make it difficult to manage later.

We will prune trees that are overhanging footpaths and roads. Trees are also pruned back from road signs, street lighting and public serving CCTV.

The tree in my garden does not look healthy

If you have concerns about a tree on WDH land, please report this to your local Estate Officer or OneCALL by email at [email protected]. A tree surveyor from our Landscape team will be asked to visit and assess the concerns. You will then be updated with our findings

I have a big tree near my home and I'm worried about the damage the roots may cause

Tree roots can cause damage to buildings in two ways:

  • Direct damage – this is caused when the physical expansion of tree roots or the stem lifts paving stones or cracks walls. Due to the weight of the house no amount of physical expansion will affect it, but garden walls and small structures such as garages or outbuildings might be at risk.

  • Indirect damage – this can be caused to larger structures such as houses when tree roots grow underneath the foundations, extract the water and cause clay soils to shrink and the structure to subside. If a building has been built on clay soil near an existing tree, and that tree is then removed, the soil may expand which can cause heave (the opposite to subsidence).

Modern building standards mean that the risk to newer buildings tends to be isolated. However, if you live in private accommodation and believe that WDH trees are the cause of the cracking to your property, please talk to your insurers in the first instance to determine the probable cause.

Branches are growing across my boundary

There is no requirement by law to prevent trees spreading over a boundary and we are not obliged to cut back the overhanging branches. We will only carry out work where a tree’s branches are touching the property or resting on the roof.

However, residents of private property do have the legal right under common law to cut back the branches to the boundary line. The branches cannot be cut further in anticipation of regrowth.

Where roots are deemed to have encroached, works will only be undertaken where damage to the property can be shown beyond reasonable doubt.

A WDH tree is shading my property and blocking my view

Whilst we all like natural light in our homes, householders have no legal right to light. Likewise, there is no right to a view and a view obstructed by the growth of trees cannot be legally regarded as a nuisance.

One of the most common issues residents have with trees is that they block light into homes and shade gardens. We will not fell or prune trees purely because they are reducing light levels into the homes or casting shade over gardens.

Trees are blocking light to my solar panels

We do not typically prune or remove a WDH owned tree to improve natural light or to a property, including solar panels.

A tree is affecting my television and satellite reception

If a tree is interfering with your TV or satellite reception then your service provider may be able to suggest an alternative solution to the problem, for example relocating the aerial or dish. We aren't responsible for TV or satellite signals and therefore we won't prune or fell a tree for this reason.

I have a problem with pollen and allergies and trees nearby are making this worse

All vegetation, including grass and trees, produces pollen as part of its life-cycle and this can affect allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, as this is a natural process we can't prune or fell a tree for this reason.


I have a problem with leaves, seeds and fruit from nearby trees

Leaves and seeds that trees lose are carried freely on the wind and are can't be controlled.

Clearing leaves from gutters, pathways and the weeding of seeds that have started to grow are considered to be normal routine seasonal maintenance for any householder. Pruning won't be routinely carried out to reduce the fall of leaves, seeds or fruit.

A tree is making a sticky mess on my car or garden

This problem is caused by aphid infestation and is known as honeydew which is a particular problem with tree species such as Lime and Sycamore.

This cannot be solved by pruning or spraying with insecticides so we will not fell or disfigure trees to deal with the issue. Honeydew is a mild sugar solution and should not affect paintwork on cars if they are washed regularly. 

Birds roosting in a tree outside my house are creating a mess on my car or drive

We know this can be an inconvenience but it is not recognised legally as a nuisance. 

Pruning the tree is not the solution as the birds will simply roost on the remaining branches. Even when trees are pruned they are still inhabited by wildlife. Healthy and attractive trees are an asset to the environment and we won't fell a tree because of bird fouling. 

A tree is causing damage to my utility services

Instances of underground pipes being broken or damaged by the growth of tree roots are very rare. However, if a pipe is already damaged, root access and blockages are not uncommon.

We will not top, thin or fell a tree to prevent roots entering damaged pipes. Repairing the issue with the pipe is the only way to solve the problem and will also prevent future issues. Modern materials and joints will significantly reduce pipe damage and subsequent root encroachment.

Trees nearby are in the wrong place and a general nuisance

Although trees may be considered an inconvenience to those living near to them, by law they must be shown to be a substantial interference to a resident's comfort and convenience to be considered a nuisance.

We won't undertake any topping, pruning or felling of healthy trees simply to prevent falling leaves, seeds or minor debris.