Some frequently asked questions

Maintenance of trees

Does the council have a Tree Policy?

We are currently updating our policy, and it will be published on this page as soon as it is available.

I feel that a Council tree is immediately dangerous, who do I contact?

If you feel a Council tree is dangerous and requires urgent attention, contact Access Trafford on 0161 912 2000 between 8.30am and 5.30pm. Outside of these hours please contact the emergency call out service on 0161 912 2020.

A Council tree is obstructing my light / blocking my view - can it be pruned or removed?

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

How tall are trees allowed to grow?

Although there is no specific height that a tree is allowed to grow to, our pruning and maintenance programme ensures that all of the trees are pruned to meet the requirement for highway trees.

A Council tree is interfering with my television / radio signal, can it be pruned?

We do not undertake pruning for TV and satellite signal interference outside of the pruning and maintenance programme.

A Council tree is dropping seeds, leaves or fruit, can it be pruned?

We do not 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.

I am a Housing Trust tenant and have trees in my garden that need pruning, what should I do?

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

Will you replace a fallen, felled or diseased tree?

We are committed to replacing trees on a 2 for 1 basis to retain Trafford’s green image.

What tree work can I expect from the pruning and maintenance programme?

Tree work is carried out as part of the pruning and maintenance programme, which includes:

  • Crown thinning.
  • Lifting.
  • Reduction of branches away from properties.
  • Removal of dead, diseased and damaged wood.

How does the Council deal with Tree Preservation Orders on council and private property?

For further information please see our Tree Preservation Orders page.

Can the Council recommend a tree surgeon?

Yes, please see our list of Arboricultural contractors

I want to cut down / prune a tree in my garden, do I need permission?

Please call our Planning Service on 0161 912 3149 to find out if the tree concerned is covered by a Tree Preservation Order or if you are within a conservation area.

On a nearby building site, the builders are felling / pruning trees, is this permitted?

Some trees are covered by the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or are contained within a conservation area.

Please contact the Planning Department on 0161 912 3149.

I am having problems with a tree in my neighbour’s garden, overhanging branches / blocking light, what can I do?

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.

I think a Council tree is causing damage to my property, what should I do?

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 the council's Insurers direct.

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

I believe you can get the Council to make a neighbour cut down their high hedge that causes me a nuisance, where can I find information about this?

Please contact the Planning Department on 0161 912 3149.

When should I prune my 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.

Are there any controls on the type of tree I can plant in my garden?

No, 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.

My tree drops a sticky substance, what can I do about it?

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.

What can happen if I carry out work without consent?

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.

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