Phone system

We are experiencing some issues with our phone system which means that we cannot make or receive calls. We are working to resolve these issues, and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Council-owned trees

We are responsible for managing an estimated 80,000 trees and 100 hectares of woodland.

This important resource makes a positive contribution to the borough’s natural environment, providing a habitat for wildlife and shaping our landscape.

We are committed to providing a tree resource that is:

  • resilient to climate change and disease by being diverse in terms of both species and age
  • accessible to residents with sufficient tree planting in streets and parks and with easy access to well managed woodlands
  • maximising ecological, recreational and landscape opportunities
  • respectful of surroundings, including neighbouring residents and is maintained in a safe and healthy condition
  • managed with community engagement

Trees growing on designated highway land, even if it is council owned land where the tree is growing, this includes many roadside trees this is managed by Hampshire Highways report any issues using the link below, or report a highways emergency that poses an immediate risk to the public call 0300 555 1388 (8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, outside of office hours call 101.

Report an issue with a roadside tree online

Requesting tree work

We will occasionally prune or remove trees which are causing a nuisance, for example if the tree is causing excessive shade to a resident's property. You need to complete an application so that we can come out and assess the tree.

If the tree is overhanging your garden, you may prune it back to the boundary line without having to complete an application form. However, you should contact us by emailing before doing so as legal restrictions may apply and you are advised to use a competent tree surgeon. If the tree work that you want requires cutting back further than the boundary line, then you should complete an application.

If you are primarily concerned about the safety of the tree, you should not use this form but you should contact us directly by phoning 01256 844844. We will then be able to check our records to see when the tree was last inspected and if necessary, we will re-inspect the tree.

This form should not be used to apply for tree work to protected trees or trees growing on privately owned land (not owned by the council). Find out more on our protected trees webpage.

PDF document Application form to fell or prune council owned trees with guidance notes(PDF) [281 kb]

PDF document Shade assessment criteria(PDF) [624 kb]

View the status of current tree applications via the planning application portal

Search for an application

Tree maintenance

We carry out a rolling maintenance plan, inspecting trees every five to six years to reduce risks. This includes checking for:

  • falling branches
  • vehicle and pedestrian collision
  • damage to fences and walls

If you see a fallen tree or branch, or you are worried that a council-owned tree is blocking a road or footpath, you can report this to us by completing the online form using the link below. If this is an emergency, you should call 01256 844844.

Report a problem with a council-owned tree

Nesting birds

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it a criminal offence to harm or destroy any wild bird, its nest or its eggs. Although there are no specific dates set by the legislation, the nesting season generally runs from March to the end of August. During this period, it is still permissible to carry out tree works, but careful checks must be made beforehand to ensure that there are no nests that might be damaged.

We take the protection of wildlife very seriously at all times of the year. If you see our contractors carrying out tree works between March and August, please be reassured that we are carrying out the necessary checks. Where we do find a nest and where the work isn't urgently required for public safety, the works are put on hold until any birds have fledged.

Further information about the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found on the RSPB website

Guidance on applying to fell or prune a council owned tree

When should I apply?

The application form is for use where you consider that a tree is causing a non-safety related nuisance, for example if the tree is shading your property or if it is dropping excessive debris into your garden. Applications will only be successful if the environmental impact of removing or pruning the tree is acceptable.

What can I apply for?

If you are applying to remove the tree then you should state this on the form. If you are applying to prune the tree, you should give a full and clear specification of the work that you would like to be carried out.

A proposal simply to cut back, lop or trim some branches is too vague because it does not indicate the extent of the works. Annotated photographs can be used to help to identify individual branches that you would like to remove.

For more information on tree pruning, please refer to our Guide to Proper Pruning (opens in a new window) (PDF) [592kb]. This outlines the type of description we will need you to include on the application form.

If you are concerned that the tree is shading your property please let us know which rooms are affected. If it is your garden that is affected, please let us know whether it is your front or rear garden and how far the tree overhangs. If you don’t include this on your form, we will not be able to validate the application.

Who will pay for the work?

In some cases the work will be paid for by the council. For example, this may include situations where the tree is found to be dangerous, blocking a footpath or if it is causing damage to adjacent structures. We will also pay for the work if the tree is causing significant shade to your property, following an objective assessment of the level of shade.

In all other situations, you will be required to pay. If your application is successful we will provide you with a quotation before you decide whether or not to proceed. The quotation will include all costs including an administrative fee of £55, the cost of the tree surgery, road closures where necessary and £190 towards the cost of planting a replacement tree whenever a tree is removed. VAT will also be chargeable on the total amount.

Who can carry out the work?

The council will organise the work using our own contractors. If your application is successful it does not give you the right to cut down or prune the tree yourself.

Even if your application is successful, if you or a privately appointed tree surgeon prunes or removes the tree we may take enforcement action against you.

You can cut back branches that overhang your property, regardless of the status of your application, but you should speak to us before doing so as legal restrictions may apply and you are advised to use a competent tree surgeon.

What happens with my application?

When we receive your application, we will check through it to ensure that all sections have been properly completed. If this is the case, we will write to you to acknowledge receipt and to give you an estimated timeframe for processing the application. If there is not enough information, the form will be returned to you with an explanation as to why it is being sent back.

Validated applications will be allocated to one of our tree officers who will assess the tree and its relation to your property. We will consider supporting reasons and assess the environmental impact of removing or pruning the tree before deciding whether to approve or turn down the application.

In some cases we may consult with adjacent residents. Your local councillor will also receive notification that an application has been received and will be invited to comment. If the consultation highlights conflicting local interest, or if requested by the local councillor, the application will be deferred to an appeal panel of borough councillors for a decision.

If your application is successful, we will write to you and provide you with a quotation for undertaking the work. This will be valid for 12 months. If your application is not successful we will write to you explaining why.

If you accept the quotation then once payment has been received in full we will organise for our contractors to undertake the approved tree work.

How do I make payment?

The quotation will be valid for 12 months and you will have the opportunity to pay in instalments over this period. If you choose to pay by instalments but then decide not to proceed with the tree work, payments will be returned to you, less the £55 administration fee.

Please note that if you choose to pay in instalments, no work will be carried out until the full amount has been received. Make an online payment, pay by post, in person or by telephone.

What if I am unhappy with the decision?

If your application is unsuccessful, we will write to you to let you know why. If your local councillor has not already commented on the application, you may wish to approach them to see whether they would be willing to support a review of the decision by the tree single issue panel.

Find your councillor

Make a complaint via our complaints procedure.

Contact details

Natural Environment Team

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