Environment and animals

Private tree nuisance and disputes

We can't assist with perceived nuisance or neighbour disputes which relate to private trees, such as:

  • vegetation from a neighbouring property encroaching on your private land
  • requests to increase light levels or change the view into or from a private property
  • perceived nuisance caused by birds, insects, falling debris, leaves, blossom and fruit, or pollen
  • a tree being 'too large' or 'too tall'
  • interference with TV or satellite dish reception, telephone cables or solar collection
  • neighbourly disputes due to perceived nuisance from a tree

See details of how to report issues with public trees.

Pruning private trees and vegetation

Property owners and tenants have a common law right to prune non-protected vegetation back to their own boundary line, but never beyond. Any cutting back beyond the boundary will require the land owner's consent.

You must never do such work without first checking if any tree is protected within a conservation area or protected by a tree preservation order (TPO). See more information about tree preservation orders and tree conservation areas.

It's an offence to return or throw back any cut material over a boundary without your neighbour's consent. It's also against the law to prune non-protected trees and vegetation outside of your own boundary without the tree owner’s permission.

Trees and insurance claims

If you are making an insurance claim about public trees, this will need to be justified with evidence and will need to be directed to our insurance claims team.

No trees will be removed or pruned for alleged or potential damage claims until documentary evidence has been presented for investigation by our insurance team. Action will be taken to resolve justified claims and to retain any trees if it is deemed possible.

Disturbance and obstruction claims

We cannot assist with perceived structural or damage requests, such as:

  • roots entering private drains that are already broken or damaged
  • disturbance to pavements, kerbs, garden paths and walls
  • a perceived risk that a tree could cause damage in the future
  • making way for new driveways or front garden parking

We may be able to help with these claims, but only if they have been assessed and identified as very urgent, backed up with evidence such as photos and inspections. In these cases engineering solutions may be sought in the first instance, ensuring that trees can be maintained. Therefore, you're not able to log requests of this nature online using our trees and vegetation eform.

Contact the Protected Trees Team for advice before reporting issues relating to perceived disturbance or obstruction online.

All damage related claims regarding vegetation must be sent together with your evidence to our insurance claims team.

Also see

Protected Trees

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551371/551168