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Due to essential maintenance some of our forms will be unavailable on Saturday 20th December 2014 between 8.00am and 8.00pm. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

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Tree Issues

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Overview

Chalara Dieback of Ash (Chalara fraxinea)

For information and details of how to report a suspected case please read our guide attached at the bottom of this page.

You can use the buttons above to request tree pruning or clearance, for all trees on land owned by Birmingham City Council or make a request for for a tree to be planted . If covered by our service, your request will be sent to the relevant team who will investigate and inform you of the outcome.

We are fully committed to caring for our trees to ensure they continue to thrive for the benefit of the people and wildlife in Birmingham. Management and maintenance of Birmingham's trees is to a high standard to make sure all the City Council's duties and legal responsibilities are met. A request can be made for a tree to be planted in a street near you by pressing the Tree Planting Request button above and we will check if this is possible and let you know.

The Parks and Nature Conservation Service is responsible for maintaining trees on parks and open land owned by Birmingham City Council. Inspections are carried out regularly. Any pruning of branches, roots and suckers is done by professional tree contractors to keep trees healthy and reduce any risk of damage to property or harm to individuals.

Maintenance of trees on the highway is carried out by Amey on behalf of the Highways Department. Pruning works are normally carried out if trees are blocking street lighting, road signs or traffic lights, or where a tree is causing excessive damage to a property, or impeding vehicular or pedestrian access.

Pruning is not carried out to increase light or improve TV reception. Leaf fall, insects, and birds are natural occurrences that cannot be prevented by pruning.

A list of streets where trees are already scheduled to be pruned in the coming year can be found in the attachment below.

Please note – trees are the responsibility of the land owner. We are not responsible for trees in private gardens. We can take legal action to ensure that unsafe trees on private land are made safe. The owner of the tree would normally have to pay for the necessary work.

Essential Information
  • The service covers the following:

    • All trees that require pruning shall be in accordance with good arboricultural practice and to comply with BS3998
    • Pruning works are carried out where trees are blocking street lighting, road signs or traffic lights, or where a tree is causing excessive damage to a property, or impeding vehicular or pedestrian access.
    • Removal of the basal and trunk growth is carried out on appropriate trees and pedestrian sight lines.
    • An emergency call out cover is provided 24 hours a day 365 days a year
    • Where possible trees that are removed are replaced with the same or other appropriate species.
    • Specialist Arboricultural Officers inspect all trees giving priority to those dead, diseased or dangerous.
    • An annual programme of tree maintenance is agreed by Council committees.
  • Before carrying out any work on a tree in your own garden you also need to check that the tree is not subject to a Tree Preservation Order.

    The service is generally not available for trees on private property; there are exceptions, which are covered in the online form. You can find qualified tree surgeons at the Arboricultural Association website


Frequently Asked Questions
    • You can request for a tree to be planted in a street near you by pressing the Tree Planting Request button above and we will check if this is possible and let you know.

      Each winter between the months of November and January young trees are planted in streets. These usually replace trees that were previously removed and the new tree will be located as near as possible to the removed tree.

      The new tree will be of an appropriate species for that location taking into account its size when mature and the location of any underground or overhead utilities and vehicular access to the property. We do not plant trees during the spring and summer months.

      During a prolonged dry spell we will always welcome your help in watering the new trees outside your house using any waste water.

    • Leaf fall in autumn is a natural occurrence and cannot be avoided by pruning. If you are a keen gardener, collecting the leaves for compost is a simple and efficient way of recycling a natural resource. Please contact the street cleaning service who will sweep leaves from most streets during the autumn period.

    • If a tree does not pose any foreseeable threat to the health and safety of persons or property then no works are required other than to maintain that tree in a safe condition. The standard for street trees is a healthy, safe and sound condition without obvious defects and no low hanging branches that obstruct pedestrian or vehicular sight lines.

    • Instances of underground pipes being broken by the growth of tree roots are very rare. Tree roots do not break into undamaged pipes but will take advantage of a pipe that is already damaged or fractured.. We will not undertake the topping, thinning or felling of trees to prevent roots entering damaged pipes. Repair of the defect in the pipe is the only certain remedy that will prevent future problems. Modern materials and joints will significantly reduce pipe damage and subsequent root encroachment in the future.

    • You must contact your household insurance provider so that they can advise you accordingly. Where tree roots are deemed to have encroached, works will only be undertaken where damage to property can be shown, beyond reasonable doubt, to have been a causal factor or damage is reasonably foreseeable in the future.

    • Yes, the right to do so depends if the tree is protected by a tree preservation order (TPO). In this case permission to do so would need to be granted by the planning department. Advise the customer to go to www.birmingham.gov.uk/treepreservation. If the tree does not have a TPO then you have the legal right to prune the branches back to the boundary of your property but no further. Any work must be done from within your own property. Any cuttings must be disposed of and not returned to Council land which could obstruct the public highway.

    • As a resident, in common law you do not have a 'legal right' to light that may be blocked by trees and we are not obliged to prune back or remove the tree in question.

    • This residue is the result of insects in the tree that suck sap from the leaves and excrete a sticky glucose substance. There is very little that can be done about this insect. Whilst there are leaves on the trees, this insect will survive. Likewise pollen is also a natural occurrence. Both the sticky residue and the pollen are short seasonal problems not actionable by law. Warm soapy water will remove the substance particularly if you wash the car as soon as possible.

    • There is no legal right to television reception. Existing trees on neighbouring land, which interfere with television reception, especially with satellite transmissions, are unlikely to be regarded as a nuisance in law.

      The council will not undertake the topping, thinning or felling of trees simply to improve television or satellite reception, where the trees in question would not otherwise require any surgery.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry
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