Trees on council land, council housing property or at the roadside

  • The way in which the council's trees are to be managed and the council's position in respect of frequently cited tree related concerns, are set out in our Tree Management Procedures.
  • Trees on council land including our parks, open spaces and housing sites – any enquiries or concerns about these should be raised with us using our tree reporting form.
  • Trees on a council housing property – report it to us using our tree reporting form.
  • Trees at the roadside (public roads, pathways, pavements and verges by them) – Surrey County Council (SCC) looks after these and makes sure owners of private land next to roads keep their trees in a safe condition. Report concerns to Surrey County Council.

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Dangerous tree on private land

We are responsible for trees on our land, but not on private land. Our officers are not able to provide advice about trees on private land and they cannot get involved in neighbour disputes.

If you think there is a problem with a tree on private land, try to talk to the land owner, as they are responsible for it and will be able to confirm whether any inspections have taken place, or if any work is planned. 

If, after you have talked to the owner, the issue is not resolved, put your concerns in writing to the owner. You may also want to employ an expert to assess the condition of the tree and recommend what work is needed. You can find someone on the Arboricultural Association’s Directory of Registered Consultants.

If, after following this advice, you haven’t been able to resolve your problem, please contact us. You should include any correspondence you have had with the owner of the tree, to demonstrate you have done everything reasonable to resolve the problem yourself.

If we are told about a dangerous tree on land not owned by us and an independent report has been provided, we will inspect it. If we think it is dangerous we may:

  • Take steps to make the tree safe and recover costs from the owner.
  • Require the owner to take steps to make the tree safe. If the owner fails to do so, the Council can carry out the works and recover costs from the owner.
  • If work needs to take place straight away, we will make the tree safe and claim back our costs once we have identified the owner.

Further advice can be obtained from the Arboricultural Association which provides a useful Guide to trees and the law.