Report a tree problem

Trees in Plymouth

Trees are a vital part of Plymouth’s urban environment: they provide oxygen, absorb pollution and noise, give shade and shelter from the elements and reduce stress; provide habitat to wildlife. In short, trees are essential for healthy living.

  • Learn about Plymouth’s Plan for Trees and its key principles: Promote, Protect, Care and Enhance trees in the city here.

Protected trees

Before you consider doing any works to a tree(s) you should find out if it is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or are within a Conservation Area. If the trees are protected, you will need to gain consent by making an application / give notice to the council.

Privately owned trees

Responsibility for trees growing in private gardens or on private land is with the owner of the land on which the tree is growing.

Trees in schools

The responsibility for the management and maintenance of trees within school grounds rests with the Governing body of each individual school.


If the tree is on land belonging to a housing trust or a housing association please contact the landlord.

Ash dieback

Chalara ash dieback is a fungus that affects ash trees. We’re monitoring the disease outbreak and are currently in the process of developing an ash dieback action plan.

Other tree felling controls

If you intend to remove trees, groups of trees or trees within woodlands that are not located within a garden, orchard, public open space, or churchyard you may be required to obtain a felling licence from the Forestry Commission whether or not a Tree Preservation Order is in force. The Forestry Commission also offers grants to help with the planning, planting, or maintenance of woodlands.

Tree pruning

We do not prune or remove a council tree to reduce or stop: 

  • Leaf litter (including fruit and twigs)
  • Nuisance of minor overhanging branches
  • Birds droppings or insect droppings
  • Poor television or satellite reception
  • Loss of views
  • Loss of light or shading

Pruning during the bird nesting season March to September might be prohibited if a close inspection of trees identifies any bats or birds residing in the trees.

Bats and birds are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000: it is an offence to deliberately or recklessly disturb them or damage their roosts or habitat

For further advice contact:

Council owned trees

We are responsible for keeping council owned trees in a healthy and safe condition. Trees on Council land include trees:

  • on the highway (i.e. within the road, roadside grass verge, or footpath)
  • in a public park, open space, or area of formal play
  • within a Countryside site managed by the Council
  • in woodlands and nature reserve
  • on farms managed by the council

Report an issue with a council owned tree