Tree works

The council is bound by legal and environmental duties to preserve trees.

The council will not carry out tree works on private land, unless there are exceptional circumstances (see below).

The following relates to trees on council land only and is included in our Tree and Woodland Policy (PDF, 264kb)

Tree investigations

We'll investigate as an emergency if a tree:

  • is torn out of the ground
  • or branch is blocking the road or pavement

Call 01294 310000 to report the above emergencies.

We'll investigate if trees are:

  • touching buildings or property
  • interfering with telephone wires or utilities
  • obscuring a public CCTV system

We will not investigate if trees are:

  • affecting natural light, TV reception, views
  • dropping leaves, fruits, nuts, sap
  • inhabited by birds or animals leaving droppings
  • viewed as being too high

Report a problem with a tree

Trees on private land (non-council land)

We'll only carry out works on trees on private land:

  • where there is a legislative responsibility, or
  • in an emergency situation which impacts on council land (or land we have adopted)

You may need to get clarification of ownership first.

Tree works - Common Law

Please note: We are not the authority on your rights under common law. If you are considering carrying out works to trees on someone else’s land, we offer the following advice.

Those affected by the issue should attempt to contact the tree owner first. 

Certain trees may be protected by a TPO or grow in a conservation area. You are required, by law, to contact North Ayrshire Planning before carrying out works on:

  • protected trees
  • trees in conservation areas

Under common law, you may lop parts of trees and remove roots which overhang or encroach on your land. You may remove growth, branches, or roots up to the boundary of your land.

You should not:

  • extend beyond this boundary
  • enter your neighbour's land without permission

Entering private land and carrying out tree works without permission is a criminal offence.

Branches, fruit and other parts removed from a tree are the property of the tree owner. You should offer these back to the owner.

If you carrying out work on a tree ensure that:

  • you do not impact on the health or integrity of the tree
  • work does not make the tree unsafe

Seek professional advice from a qualified, insured and experienced arborist.