Trees, tree protection and hedges
Trees play a unique and important role in enhancing the quality of life in Redbridge and we try to protect existing trees and encourage new trees to be planted.
Trees on public/council land
The Highways Tree team are responsible for:
- trees growing close to highways, on roundabouts and verges, and on the pavement
- trees in parks and on council properties including schools
- areas of woodland, e.g. Hainault Country Park
Report a problem with damaged or fallen tree on public/council land
Trees on private land
You will need permission from the owner of the land before undertaking works to or removing a tree.
Some trees can also be protected and it is a criminal offence to undertake works to or remove these trees without receiving permission from the Council.
You will need permission to undertake works on or to remove a protected tree.
Tree Preservation Orders ( TPOs)
TPOs protect tree(s) because they are significant or benefit the appearance of the area.
Please check if the boundaries of your property are affected by a TPO. Please note the list of properties is for indicative purposes only and has no legal standing.
- This list is shown by property address, meaning TPOs appear multiple times in the list where trees intersect more than one property.
- In some cases, TPO trees may not fall on the property itself, but the roots are likely to run under the property boundary.
- Spatial coordinates are based on the approximate centre point of individual TPO trees
- Where a TPO represents a group of trees, the coordinates denote the centre point of the group
Trees in conservation areas are automatically protected.
Protected by planning permission conditions
Trees can be protected by condition following planning permission.
Carry out works to protected trees
If a protected tree is dead or causing a danger then you must give the Council 5 days notice of your intention to carry out any essential work - please email notice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the tree is causing an immediate danger, for example it is about to fall and could cause damage or injury, then you can carry out work without giving notice. However, we strongly advise you to contact us prior to undertaking work, and to collect evidence. We will require you to provide proof at a later date that the tree was causing an immediate danger.
This proof should include photographs, a tree specialist report and/or independent witness statements. This is in your interest - you could be prosecuted if we consider you have carried out unnecessary and unauthorised work to a protected tree.
If your application is refused you do have the right to appeal the decision.
There is a legal duty to plant suitable replacement tree(s) for those removed under a 5 day notice; under this provision the Council will also require written details of the replacement(s) species size and location at the time the notice is submitted. The replacement tree(s) must be of a similar species to that/those being removed and need not be planted in exactly the same location, although they will have to be planted in a similar position i.e. within the same garden. Failure to provide details of replacement trees may result in the issuing of a ‘tree replacement notice’.
Tree surgeons and contractors
Approved tree works should be carried out by an adequately qualified and insured tree surgeon. If you allow unauthorised tree pruning or felling to take place, both you and your contractor could be prosecuted.
Carry out works to unprotected trees
Your Common Law rights allow you to cut back branches that overhang into your property but not to the point of destroying the tree.
You should always speak to your neighbour first and tell them you wish to trim the tree if it is not on your land; you must never trespass into your neighbour’s garden without consent.
If a tree is protected the Common Law right is removed and you will need permission from the Council before undertaking works to, or removing the tree.
Trees and subsidence
If a tree is causing subsidence damage to your property, you must first contact your home insurance company. They will investigate the matter and collect any evidence of structural damage to support any potential claim.
Please also notify us as soon as possible by emailing email@example.com.
High and nuisance hedges
If a dispute arises over a hedge it is the responsibility of the neighbours to resolve the dispute between themselves. A neighbour dispute about high hedges is dealt with under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act.
If you have tried to resolve a hedge dispute and exhausted all avenues, we may be able to intervene.
If we have to get involved there is a non-refundable charge for the service which is £500 for each complaint. You will also be required to provide evidence of recent attempts at resolving the dispute.