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Council trees and shrubs

Trees, shrubs, leaves and leaf clearance

Our Street teams deal with leaf clearance as well as their other cleansing duties. We also have a small team of dedicated Horticultural Officers to look at trees across the city. Please click on the section you need below:

 

Latest tree news

There were 2 major storms late last year, Hector and Ali, which had caused a big impact on the tree teams workloads. There were hundreds of dangerous trees to attend to which means that routine inspections and planned works have been considerably delayed. Please be patient as some non-urgent work will take longer to be completed. Remember we cannot give dates or time estimates for work to be carried out.

Tree maintenance

Reports of dangerous trees on the Council's own land will be responded to within 3 hours to make the site safe. Please note any reports of dangerous trees must be phoned through to 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Envirocall."

Requests for the tree maintenance service will be inspected within 28 days. We are only able to inspect trees that are dead, damaged, diseased or causing a physical obstruction.

Please note in some cases prior to inspections being carried out we will need to see any reports from your insurance companies regarding certain types of damage.

We aim to carry out an inspection only within 28 days. We are not able to give specific dates of any work ordered as a result. Some work can only be done in the winter months outside the growing season. This will also be planned by area and by level of need.

These conditions have been revised as the council has to reduce its budget by £100m over the next three years, and more information can be found on our Newcastle 2016 budget pages.

The following guidelines intend to show in what circumstances we can inspect trees:

Cases the Council will look at trees Cases the Council will not look at trees
Potentially hazardous trees Loss of light to a property or garden
Trees affecting public access, highway safety and visibility Solar panels
Reported tree damage to highway surfaces Tree debris - fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves or sap
Reported tree damage to buildings Bird fouling or bird nesting
Overhanging tree branches when a physical obstruction is caused, such as preventing access Satellite, TV and phone reception
Trees hit by vehicles Pollens and allergies
Trees physically touching properties Blocked drains and gutters
Trees touching street lights Height or size of the tree

If your tree issue fits the cases we will attend to, it can be reported via this form. Make sure you give as much information as possible. You can even add a photo. It is helpful if you can advise of the following:

  • tree type

  • tree location - For example is it on a grass verge, at the back or the front, open space, highway, YHN land?

  • nature of the problem

Please note that incorrect use of the reporting system can result in delays. You cannot use this form to report dangerous trees.

Here are some examples of work requests that are not justified:

  • tree is shading my garden/conservatory/gazebo

  • leaves from a tree are blowing into my garden/yard/drive

  • tree is taller than my house

  • birds live in the tree and make noise/mess

  • children play around the tree

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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

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 here.

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Tree Preservation Orders - TPOs

Tree Preservation Orders 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. If you wish to report unauthorised work please contact the Landscape and Ecology Section.

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

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Leaves

We have a program in place to deal with high leaf fall across the City and we aim to clear these areas fortnightly 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 online sweeping forms, but please note this is not a standard service we offer. These will be done when the 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.

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Shrubs

Shrub beds will be given a major maintenance visit in the winter months from November to March; any major pruning and clearance of debris and unwanted vegetation will happen at this time.

This is because the vegetation has died back and the beds are more accessible. Pruning is also best carried out when it is not the growing season.

During the spring and summer shrub beds will be visited to control growth that is causing a physical obstruction, to control excessive weed growth and remove accumulated debris. They cannot be cut back during nesting season from March to July.

We aim to inspect requests regarding general shrub maintenance and raise any justified work orders within 6 months.

If there are reports of a serious hazard blocking walkways or paths, or causing serious visibility problems on roads we will inspect these in 1 working day. Please note we cannot guarantee that any work would be carried out till we inspect the site.

If you need to report an issue regarding a council shrub or hedge, or a private hedge encroaching a highway, please phone us on 0191 278 7878 and ask for “Envirocall.”

 

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Did you know?

 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. If you wish to report unauthorised work please phone 0191 2787878 and ask for "Planning" or email landscape@newcastle.gov.uk

 

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