Tree, shrub and hedge maintenance

Tree, shrub and hedge maintenance

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Trees on council land

We know that trees are a much-loved part of our community but, from time to time, they may be seen to cause a nuisance.

Many such issues with the trees and hedges that we own are picked up and dealt with as part of our regular maintenance.

This typically includes clearing vegetation above paths, parking and roads; around signs and lights; from buildings; and to ensure important lines of sight.

However, you can also request that we look at an issue you feel is being caused by a tree, shrub or hedge.

How we decide if work is needed

Every request for work on a tree, shrub or hedge that the council owns is considered on its own merits.

In considering a request we must balance finite resources against the risk and nuisance – whether actual or perceived – and the potential impact of that on our residents’ quality of life.

For more information about this decision process please see our guide to how we assess if arboricultural work is needed.

Request work be carried out

The quickest and easiest way to provide us with all the information required to be able to assess a request for tree, shrub or hedge works is to fill out our Your Local Services online forms:

Requests can also be made by calling Your Local Services on 0191 2787878. Please note, due to the pandemic we are currently experiencing longer than usual call wait times and once you get through staff will fill out the same online form with the details you provide.

What happens once a request is made

All information provided is automatically passed through to our arboricultural team.

  • Reports of urgent and dangerous problems, of a serious hazard blocking walkways or paths, or of issues causing serious visibility problems on roads will be assessed and necessary works carried out within 1 working day. 
  • Requests for general tree maintenance services will see inspections carried out - where resources allow - within 28 days.
    Any resulting remedial work may take longer, particularly as some work can only be done in the winter months outside the growing season. This will be prioritised according to which work is most urgently required but we are not able to give specific dates.
  • Requests for general shrub or hedge maintenance will see any necessary works carried out within 6 months.

Please note: Due to extra inspection capacity commissioned as part of a move to a more data-led system of tree management, we have identified and are currently dealing with more trees that require attention than usual. This may cause some delay in responding to some maintenance requests, and we thank residents for their patience and understanding.

Keeping you informed

If you have made a request you can track its progress online using our Your Local Services system.

You will need to register with a valid email address and create a password in order to do this.

What if a request is refused?

Appeal against our decision

We fully appreciate that when it comes to trees there may be strongly held views.

All our decisions are made on the basis of our Newcastle Trees Policy, evidence, the law and sound arboricultural practice.

Where a request for tree or hedge works has been refused, we may review our decision, but that would need to follow a written request that demonstrates at least one of the following:

  • A procedural error was made.
  • The decision contravenes the adopted Policy.
  • New information has arisen in relation to the decision.
  • A period of 12 months has elapsed since the decision was made.

To make an appeal please email treeappeals@newcastle.gov.uk

Please note: The Appeals Process for trees subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) is a separate legal process. For information about applying to carry out work on a tree with a TPO, please see our Tree Preservation Orders and Trees in a Conservation Area page.

Works paid for by third parties

Works that are requested that would not otherwise be done by us may be permitted to be undertaken at the expense of a third party.

This will be considered where it will not have a significant negative effect on the value or quality of the trees or hedges in question or the benefits they provide to their communities.

Where such an agreement is made, we will normally select who is to carry out the works and may charge a fee to cover this.

 

Trees on private property

If a resident or business would like us to undertake pruning which would improve a non-essential situation and not adversely affect the tree, we can give you a quote for this chargeable service. Quotes can be obtained by emailing trees@newcastle.gov.uk

Please note if you use this email address for anything other than a quote request you will not get a reply.

We aim to respond to requests for quotes within 5 working days. Please provide photos if possible, as well as an outline of the work requested and contact details.

Some advice on problems with trees on neighbouring property can be found our nuisance and dangerous trees or hedges on private land advice page.

Tree Preservation Orders

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) can be placed on single trees, groups of trees and even whole woodlands.  If a TPO is in force you must apply for consent from Planning before carrying out any work to the trees. If you are not sure if there is a TPO in place, you need to check.

Anything that would normally be called a "tree" may be covered by a TPO.  All trees with a trunk diameter of 75mm (approximately 3 inches) or more are protected in a Conservation Area. 

Unauthorised work to a protected tree is a criminal offence. If you deliberately destroy a protected tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be liable to an unlimited fine.

You could also be fined if you cause or permit such work. Other offences can lead to fines of up to £2,500.  The Local Planning Authority can prosecute when work is carried out on a preserved tree without their consent or without the required notice on a tree in a conservation area or when exemptions are misused.

  • To report suspected unauthorised works to a protected tree, please contact our Planning Enforcement team who will investigate this as a high priority.

Full details about TPOs can be found on our Planning pages.

How we deal with leaves

We have a program in place to deal with high leaf fall across the City and we aim to clear these areas on a planned basis during the autumn period.

This is linked in with our street sweeping work, and roads and footpaths will be swept in line with programmed work.

The clearance program may take longer to complete during periods of heavy leaf fall or adverse weather conditions. Some areas may not be cleared if there are access problems due to parked cars.

If you feel an area might require additional clearance, you can request it by using our litter removal online form, but please note this is not a standard service we offer. These will be done when the cleansing crew are next in that area and we are not able give a guaranteed response.

Leaves are carried freely on the wind and are largely outside the control of Newcastle City Council.

Clearing of leaves from gutters and gardens is considered to be normal routine seasonal maintenance which property owners and residents are expected to carry out.

Remember if you subscribe to the Garden Waste collection service you can dispose of leaves in the brown bin.

Did you know?

The Tree Strategy for Newcastle upon Tyne is about how we will protect and care for Newcastle's trees, hedges and woodlands and how we hope to plant more trees, in suitable places, to help improve Newcastle's environment.

The Local Planning Authority can prosecute when work is carried out on a preserved tree without their consent or without the required notice on a tree in a conservation area or when exemptions are misused.   To report suspected unauthorised works to a protected tree, please contact our Planning Enforcement team who will investigate this as a high priority.

 

Need more information?

You can view our interactive Grounds Maintenance Map of the city here. Refer to the areas marked in solid green with blue diamond hatching, which represents land managed by Newcastle City Council Arbor and Grounds Maintenance team. The data shown on the map is not the legal document and is supplied for information purposes only. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the data, it is subject to change and amendment and we will not accept any liability sustained as a result of reliance on this data.

It is noted some of the parks and allotments in Newcastle are now managed by Urban Green. For a list of these parks please refer here: https://urbangreennewcastle.org/find-your-park.  For any queries relating to trees on Urban Green managed land please contact their team via email on enquiries@urbangreennewcastle.org.

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