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Trees - arboriculture and preservation orders

Trees - arboriculture

We protect, enhance and manage trees in streets, parks, open spaces and woodlands. We also maintain some trees in council house gardens.

Before making an enquiry about or reporting a problem with a tree on council land, please see what we do and what we don’t do.

If you are a council tenant and have any issues regarding trees you must report to your local area housing office.

For information on Ash dieback disease see our frequently asked questions guide.

We will:

Prune or remove unsafe, dying or dangerous trees.

We won’t:

Prune, cut roots or remove trees for the following reasons:

  • seasonal nuisance (Honeydew, leaves, fruits, berries, seeds and flowers, pollen and allergies)
  • roosting birds and/or production of droppings
  • bees, wasps, flies, insects and wild animals
  • to address interference with solar collection, satellite dishes, TV reception or telephone cables
  • encroachment into or over a neighbouring property
  • neighbour disputes due to perceived nuisance from a tree
  • disturbance to pavements, kerbs, garden paths and walls
  • to prevent roots entering drains that are already broken or damaged
  • obstruction of light or scenic views
  • simply because it is thought to be ‘too big’ or ‘too tall’
  • a perceived risk that a tree could cause damage in the future
  • it sways in the wind
  • the focal point of anti-social behaviour

Under Scottish law, you may be able to prune branches and roots which grow over your boundary (you cannot access the neighbouring land without permission). However, you also have a legal duty to take ‘reasonable care’ whilst undertaking any works and you may be liable if you damage the tree or cause it to become unstable. It is therefore unwise to undertake works without first consulting a qualified arboriculturist (tree expert). You should also check us prior to undertaking any works to make sure that the trees are not protected.

Dangerous/hazardous trees

When a tree has a risk that might not be acceptable or tolerable, it'll usually have an obvious tree risk feature you can't help but notice. If you come across a tree with anything like the obvious features listed below, on council land (or adjacent the road network), we would like to hear about it and have one of our Arborist (tree expert) who's been trained in tree risk assessment to have a look.

  • root failure
  • hanging branches
  • a crack or split into the wood, beyond the bark
  • decline and death
  • decay fungi fruiting bodies
  • construction damage

Please refer to the illustrative guide Obvious Tree Risk Features (

If you want to report a tree that is dangerous to life or property, or is blocking a road phone us on 0303 123 1020 Monday to Thursday 8.45am – 4.45pm and Friday 8.45am - 4.15pm. Outwith these times, phone 0800 242024.

You can use our online form to report non emergency issues with trees in streets, parks, open spaces and woodlands.

Storm advice

Storms and high winds pose a potential risk to public safety, if there are issues of concern regarding trees, please phone 0303 123 1020 Monday to Thursday 8.45am – 4.45pm and Friday 8.45am - 4.15pm. Outwith these times, phone 0800 242024.

If a tree is blocking a path, road sign or traffic signal lights, please report to Roads and Transportation.