Can I carry out works to someone else's trees (including council-owned trees)?

Under common law you may prune foliage overhanging your property boundary provided you offer the debris to the tree owner and, if they decline, dispose of the debris in a responsible manner.

You must be able to demonstrate you have contacted the owner or carried out reasonable steps to identify the owner via a Land Registry search prior to carrying out works and keep the search results for your records.

Before you do this, you must check if the tree is protected and if so, make a formal application for consent to carry out the works. When submitting your application you will need to provide information on the ownership of the tree which is available via the Land Registry.

Information on tree protection and obtaining consent is available on our Protected Trees page.

If you need to carry out any tree works, we advise you engage a fully qualified, fully insured tree surgeon/arborist. We are not permitted to recommend contractors. Further information on finding a tree surgeon is available at The Arboricultural Association.