Tree maintenance

Who is responsible for looking after trees?

The owner of the land that the trees grow on is responsible for the tree. If we do not own the land, please contact the legal owner.

Usually, we will only remove or cut back a tree if it is dangerous or causing any damage to property. Shade, leaves, blossom, pollen or seed distribution are not normally reasons to remove or cut back a tree.

Make a tree enquiry


Can you help remove or cut back trees from my garden?
  • If you are a Housing Association tenant ask your Housing Association Office
  • There's no assistance available for private home owners or tenants.
Will you remove or cut back a tree which is growing near my garden?

If we own the tree, each case is looked at individually on the following timescales:

  • Urgent matters, such as a dangerous tree will be dealt with within 24 hours
  • A decision on less urgent matters will be given within 7 days.
Do I need planning permission to plant trees?
  • You do not need to apply for planning permission to plant trees
  • Make sure that you are not planting trees too near buildings as growing trees could damage foundations or deprive your neighbours of light.
Do I need permission from you before I cut down or prune trees?

You should check if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or if it is in a Conservation Area, see:

Additionally, in certain circumstances, you may require a felling licence from the Forestry Commission:

Can I cut back branches that overhang into my garden?

Before cutting back a tree always check whether the tree is:

  • protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or
  • in a Conservation Area 

If a tree is protected in any way, you will need to apply for our permission.

If the tree isn't protected or owned by us you can cut it back to your boundary but you should inform the owner of the tree that you will be doing this and offer them the branches back.

Advice on ash dieback

If you think a tree is suffering from Ash dieback you can get advice on what to look for and how to report an infected tree on the:

Selecting a tree surgeon

A tree surgeon, sometimes described as an arboriculturist, arborist or arboricultural contractor, will do tree work to a specification.

  • The Arboricultural Association, which produces a list of approved contractors, can be contacted on 01242 522152.
  • Get at least three written quotes.
  • Tell the contractor when you would like the work to be done as quotes may only be valid for a certain time.
  • Let the contractors know your decision be it acceptance or refusal.
  • You should generally avoid door-knockers.
  • The contractor should provide proof of at least £2 million Public Liability Insurance.
  • Reputable contractors will be happy to answer all of your questions.
  • Get the details of the work to be done and the agreed cost in writing.
  • Ensure the tree debris is disposed of properly.

West Oxfordshire District Council
New Yatt Road
OX28 1PB