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Trees and Hedges - General Information

Summary (optional)
Hedges, trees and shrubs growing along boundaries with roads and footpaths are usually owned by adjoining landowners. The Council is responsible for managing trees we own within the highway.
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Landowners' Responsibilities

Owners are responsible for trees and vegetation growing on their property and have a duty to keep these cut so they don’t obstruct the highway. Regularly inspecting trees will reduce the liability for accidents.

If you do not maintain your trees, hedges and vegetation to an acceptable standard, we will ask you to take action. The Highways Act 1980 allows us to give notice to landowners, requiring them to do maintenance on overhanging trees and vegetation which can affect the safety of the highway. We give property owners sufficient time to carry out this work before we serve a formal notice. We always look for co-operation first before resorting to legal action.

Footways - 2.1 metres. There should also be enough width to allow pedestrians, pushchairs and wheelchairs to pass saf

Roads – 5.2 metres should be maintained to allow enough space for vehicles to gain access, unless there is a Traffic Order restricting the size or height of vehicles that can use a particular road.

Dead or Dying Trees

We are responsible for keeping highways open and addressing possible dangers such as dead or dying trees. If the landowner fails to take action, the Council may remove the tree and recover all reasonable costs from the landowner.

Most trees are maintained by Environment, Roads & Facilities service, but there are certain locations with trees within the public walkway which may be maintained by another service in the council. 

You can get information on whether a tree is protected by law with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) from the Council's Regulatory Services, Coed Pella, Conwy Road, Colwyn Bay LL29 7AZ. We deal with:

  • broken, hanging, fallen and low branches
  • trees that have fallen or collapsed
  • trees that are obstructing the highway or footpath for normal use
  • trees that obscure sight lines at road junctions
  • trees that obstruct street lights, pedestrian crossings or highway road signs
  • damage caused by high winds or vehicle impacts - only for trees owned by the Council or where there is an immediate threat to safety

There are some tree related problems that we are not obliged to deal with. These include:

  • reducing tree shading of neighbouring land or property
  • clearing branches encroaching on overhead utility wires and cables
  • reducing the height of a tree, unless a tree specialist regards its height as hazardous
  • carrying out work on trees because they may be interfering with television or radio signals
  • collecting fallen leaves and similar deposits including sap, blossom, catkins, fruit, nuts, berries and cones
  • pruning trees to improve views


Under the Highways Act 1980, we may ask you to cut back any hedges that come through onto a road or footpath. Generally, we will ask you to trim your hedges during the autumn and winter, to avoid disturbing nesting birds and other small mammals breeding in hedges. This is in line with the 'Code of Good Practice for Highway Maintenance'. During spring and summer, we may also ask you to trim your hedges if they are a danger to people using the highway.

When you cut your hedges, you must make sure that you immediately remove any cuttings which fall onto a road or footpath. Hedge cuttings left on roads are dangerous - people may be injured and cyclists can be left stranded if thorns puncture their tyres. You must also remove any cuttings which fall into roadside ditches, road gullies and drainage grips (cut into verges to help with road drainage).

If you do not remove the cuttings, we may do this and charge you for the work.

Contact us

Environment, Roads & Facilities
PO Box 1
LL30 9GN

Report a tree online

Phone: 01492 575337

Find out more

Roadside Trees and Hedges (PDF)

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