Neighbouring trees and vegetation

Your duties

All tree owners have a duty under common law to ensure that their trees do not cause damage or injury to neighbouring property or people. Under the Occupiers' Liability Act tree owners must ensure the safety of anyone that can reasonably be expected to be present on their land, including visitors and possibly trespassers.

Council owned trees

The council owns a considerable number of trees across the District. To meet our legal obligations work is prioritised on risk, focusing on those trees posing the greatest risk. Details of our approach to tree management are contained within the tree strategy.

In general, work that is required to reduce a high risk of damage or injury is likely to take place. Work that is non-essential or not related to high risk is unlikely to take place.

Trees in other ownership

The council is not responsible for managing trees owned by individuals or other organisations. You need to contact the relevant owner if you are experiencing problems due to neighbouring vegetation.

Other major owners of trees in public places in the district are:

  • Greenfields Community Housing Association
  • Essex County Council Highways. You can report a problem to ECC via their website.