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.

Council trees

The Neighbourhood tree team are responsible for:

  • trees growing on the streets and verges
  • trees in parks, open spaces and on other council properties including schools


Please visit Council trees for further information.


Trees on private land 

It is the responsibility of the landowner to maintain the trees on their 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.


Protected trees 

You will likely need permission to undertake works on or to remove a protected tree.

A guide to tree preservation procedures is available online.

Tree Preservation Orders ( TPOs)

TPOs protect tree(s) because they are significant or benefit the appearance of the area.

Please email with your address and we can confirm if your tree is protected by TPO.

Conservation Areas

Trees in conservation areas are automatically protected.

Please check if your property and trees are located in a conservation area

Protected by planning permission conditions

Trees can be protected by condition following planning permission.

Please check if trees on a development site are protected by planning conditions


Carry out works to protected trees

Most works to a protected tree require written permission from the Council. If this application is refused you do have the right to appeal the decision.

Apply online

Some works are exempt and do not require formal permission through the application process.

For example:

  • dead wooding
  • making dangerous trees safe

If a protected tree needs immediate attention your tree surgeon must liaise with the Planning department at prior to works taking place. Photographic evidence of the tree in context, as well as written evidence from the tree surgeon, will be required to justify immediate action.

There is also a legal duty to plant suitable replacement tree(s) so we 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 the ones being removed and do 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. 

Arboricultural Association's directory of tree surgeons


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


High and nuisance hedges

You can tell us about a hedge or tree obstructing a pavement, road, streetlight or road sign.

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.

To help resolve high hedge disputes amicably and for further high hedge advice please check information on GOV.UK and on the Planning Portal.

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.

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