Council Tree Removal (Guide)

A brief guide to help you decide how to manage the removal of a tree using the local council (cost effective).

Your local council is in charge of all trees that are located on public land. In some instances, they are also in charge of trees that are positioned on private land.

When it comes to priorities, trees are a top priority for Kent County Council. This is why they are protected by TPOs or Tree Preservation Orders and are also often mentioned in planning applications. However, by law a local council is required to take action should tree maintenance be required on a council owned tree.

Every local council will have a dedicated department for trees in the area. This will be involved in tree preservation, council tree removal and dealing with issues if a tree is causing an issue.

When the time comes to prune or remove a tree, there are three instances where a council will become involved in the process. This includes:

  • Resolving a dispute between neighbours over a tree that might have branches overhanging a property or where a tree is blocking light.
  • Trees that are located on council land that could be suffering with disease or have become dangerous. This will mean that the responsibility falls with the council to remove trees or take care of pruning.
  • Trees that are located in a conservation area or on public land that become a safety concern and are at risk of falling or causing injury to the public.

So, if you need a council owned tree removed, then you will need to contact the city council but what is the process?

Asking the Council to Remove a Tree That is Council Owned

The council will commonly only remove council owned trees if they are dangerous and pose a risk.

If you believe that the council owned tree near your property is at risk of damaging property or causing injury then you should get in touch with the local planning department.

You should explain the reasons as to why you believe that council owned tree is in need of tree maintenance or complete removal. The council won’t simply remove a tree because you don’t like the look of it or because it is blocking light. If the tree is overhanging your garden, parks or even a street, then this will become a serious concern for the local council.

The tree might shed fruit or debris or even place your property in shade which is causing problems for the installation of solar panels. Therefore, as a property owner and resident, you will have to make a very strong case for asking the council to prune or remove council owned trees.

Of course, these reasons have to be included in the letter that you send to the council. They will have to take your request seriously and so, they will be required to carry out a survey in order to create a report about the tree or trees in question.

Gardens and buildings can suffer from damage should a tree fall or should branches snap off during bad weather or through disease. Furthermore, roots can also pose a problem for structures and drain runs, causing blockages.

The council will always look to protect trees where possible which means they might opt to cut them back where necessary. However, by making contact with the council, you are taking the right steps to deal with the issue.

On the whole, the council will not get involved in felling trees on private land. This means that the property owner will be responsible for covering the cost. However, if there are restrictions or if the tree is protected, then they might get involved. They can also step in should there be issues with a boundary and trees that are causing problems for other properties.

If you find that the council is not willing to step in and help, then you might find that you have to deal with the issue yourself. This might be the case if the tree is located on your property or if the branches of a council tree are hanging over your property or garden and need pruning or removing.

The Pros and Cons of Council Removal

If you choose to make contact with the council then they have responsibility for some trees. Such as those hanging over a public street or those that require maintenance. So, what are the pros and cons of council removal?


  • The council will take care of the process
  • There is no cost to you
  • It becomes their responsibility regardless of whether they are trimming branches or removing a whole tree.
  • They have to act quickly if the tree is located on council property


  • The process can take time
  • They are not always willing to help
  • The risk of damage increases the longer it takes to find a solution
  • You’re never quite sure of who carries out the work.
  • The problem might become worse should they fail to take action
  • You might need to take care of cutting branches and removing trees yourself
  • There will be an ongoing cost should you need to maintain overhanging branches of a council owned tree
  • Removal might take place at a time that is inconvenient for you

As a result of budget constraints and the costs involved with tree removal, it is common for local councils to take no action at all.

This can prove immensely frustrating should you find yourself with a nuisance tree causing issues such as problem roots or or dangerous branches. Fortunately, you do have a solution and that is to contact a professional company to take care of the job.

So, if you are in need of tree removal or you require assistance with trees that you want to retain and maintain then N J Apps tree surgery services have everything that you need.

Offering a professional service that is affordable, efficient and considerate, removing trees and solving the problems you face is a simple task. With the right team, methods and approach, we can take care of the entire process from start to finish.

Tree Care Services in Kent

At N J Apps, we have experience caring for a whole range of trees and properties across Kent. If you would like to book a free quotation, please visit our tree surgery Kent page. Alternatively, complete the form below.

Request A Call Back

N J Apps endeavours to get back to you within 1 business day. All of our quotations are provided with upfront, transparent and honest pricing. Our rates are highly competitive in the region, especially for work carried out to BS3998 standards.

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