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
Learn about Plymouth’s Plan for Trees.
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 (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 (for example Derriford Community Park)
- in woodlands and local nature reserves
- on farms managed by the Council. For example Poole Farm
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
- shading of solar panels
Pruning during the bird-nesting season March to September might not be allowed if a close inspection identifies any bats or birds living 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:
Natural England on 0300 060 3900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bat Conservation Trust on 0345 1300 228 (Bat Helpline) or email email@example.com
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.
Information about a civil dispute related to high hedge or trees
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.
- List of registered Social Landlords
Before you consider doing any work 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 or giving notice to the council. Apply to work on a protected tree.
- Tree Preservation Orders: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Information about existing Tree Preservation Orders in Plymouth
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.
- find out how to identify a tree with Ash dieback at the Forestry Commission website
- if you find a Council owned tree with Ash dieback, tell us, report an issue with a Council owned tree
- if you are a landowner with ash tree(s) suffering from Ash dieback on your land then you will need to take action. What to do if you have a tree with Ash dieback on your land.
- find out more on the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum and our Ash dieback web page.
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 need 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.
- Further information on Felling Licenses