Trees on private and council property

Further information for residents about trees council and private property.

Trees on Council property

Immediately dangerous trees

If you feel a Council tree is dangerous and requires urgent attention, contact Access Trafford on 0161 912 2000 between 9am and 5pm. Outside of these hours contact the emergency call out service on 0161 912 2020.

If you think a tree is causing damage to your property

Should you have concerns that a highway tree may cause damage to your property or you feel that the damage is already evident, then we are obliged to advise the property owner to contact their own building insurers, as it is usually a requirement of most house hold policies. Your insurers will then advise you on the best course of action and if they deem it necessary they will deal with our Insurers direct.

The onus of responsibility for investigating the alleged damage does lie with the owner/occupier.

If a tree is:

obstructing your light / blocking your view

All Council trees on the highway are pruned every 4-5 years on a cyclical basis.

interfering with your television / radio signal

We don't undertake pruning for TV and satellite signal interference outside of the pruning and maintenance programme.

is dropping seeds, leaves or fruit

We don't undertake pruning specifically for falling seeds, leaves or fruit outside of the pruning and maintenance programme. Our local street cleansing teams regularly sweep and clean the streets to prevent falling leaves, litter and detritus from causing too much of a problem.

Trees on private property

Types of trees you can plant in your garden

There aren't any controls on the type of tree you can plant in your garden, but you should consider the following:

  • How much space is available? It is always best to make sure there is enough room for the tree to grow.
  • Are there any overhead wires or obstructions?
  • Where is the tree in relation to the property?
  • A new tree to the south or west may block afternoon or evening sun. A tree to the north will not restrict direct light.

When to prune your tree

Trees prefer to be pruned when dormant (November to February). Certain species, such as cherry, should be pruned during the summer. Avoid the period when the tree is coming out of the dormant period.

Incorrect pruning during late March, April and May can cause 'bleeding' where the rising sap weeps from the tree, disrupting its natural balance and causing stress. Visit the Royal Horticultural Society website for further advice on how and when to prune trees.

If your tree drops a sticky substance

Some trees are susceptible to aphids that feed on the sap through veins on the leaves. There is very little that can be done and spraying is often not practical. The sugar solution is only a mild one and should not affect paintwork on cars, if the car is washed at regular intervals. Regular washing will also help to prevent a growth of sooty mould on the sugar solution deposits which can develop over time.

If you are a Housing Trust tenant and have trees in your garden that need pruning

Contact your local Housing Trust Office for additional information regarding this issue.

If you are having problems with a tree in your neighbour’s garden, overhanging branches / blocking light

Legally, a property owner has the right to allow a tree to grow within their property to whatever dimensions that that tree is likely to achieve. The law does also acknowledge that this may cause a ‘nuisance’ to adjoining properties.

In these instances there is a provision for adjoining properties to remove any overhanging vegetation back to their boundary line (usually determined by a fence line and upwards). We would always recommend making contact with the tree owner prior to carrying out any works. The works undertaken should not undermine the tree’s stability or future health.

If your neighbour’s high hedge is causing a nuisance

Find out more information about high hedges and making a complaint.

Tree Preservation Orders on council and private property

Find out if a tree is covered by a Tree Preservation Order or if you are within a conservation area. 

Felling / pruning trees on private property including gardens and building sites

Some trees are covered by a Tree Preservation Order or if are within a conservation area, and these are subject to restrictions. Before any work starts you must ensure the tree isn't protected. 

We can investigate and prosecute anyone who has carried out work without prior written consent. This would lead to an appearance in a Magistrates Court and fines for offences can be as much as £20,000. Penalties in Crown Courts are unlimited, but can be based on the profit made.