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Managing trees

Trees owned by the council

Our Tree Team carry out inspections and co-ordinate works for many of the council owned trees in Bracknell Forest.

Our priority is to protect the public and help keep these trees in a healthy and safe condition. We also make sure that they do not cause a legal nuisance such as blocking footpaths or damaging buildings.

Privately owned trees

Tree safety

Tree owners have a duty of care to make sure their trees are not a danger to people or property.

The council has specific discretionary powers over dangerous trees under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.

For the council to use these powers the tree must be dangerous and at imminent risk of collapse. A ‘dangerous’ tree is not a matter of opinion. It is a fact and a professional will check if it is in a condition that allows the council to use its powers.

Before the council gets involved, we expect residents to try and resolve the matter with the tree owner.

You will have to prove that you have had (or attempted) contact with the tree owner.

The council will only start formal proceedings if:

  • you can show that your efforts to resolve the matter have been unsuccessful
  • after a council assessment the tree is considered dangerous

The council may then serve notice on the owner or occupier of the land where the tree is.

This notice requires the tree owner to make the tree safe. If they fail to make the tree safe, the council may arrange for the work to be carried out and recover reasonable costs.

Trees that are simply causing annoyance, or where the risk of harm or damage is low, are outside the scope of the Act and remain a private issue.

More information

For advice on tree maintenance or quotations for work, you should contact a qualified tree surgeon or arboricultural consultant.

The Arboricultural Association operates an Approved Contractor scheme and provides guidance on choosing a tree surgeon.