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Trimming or removing trees

We're bound by certain legal and environmental duties to preserve trees.

We will not trim or remove trees on private land.

The following relates to trees on council land only and is included in our Tree and Woodland Policy (PDF, 194kb)

When we'll investigate

We'll investigate as an emergency if a:

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

Please contact us or call 01294 310000 for any of the emergencies above.

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

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.

Trimming trees

Under common law, you can trim parts of trees and remove roots which overhang or encroach on your land. Find out more about your rights under 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.

Certain trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders or be within a conservation area. You may need permission before carrying out works on them.

You are required, by law, to contact North Ayrshire Planning before carrying out works on:

  • protected trees
  • trees in conservation areas

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

You can remove any 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.

If you carry out work on a tree, ensure that you do not impact on the health or integrity of the tree. Make sure any works you carry out do not make the tree unsafe. Seek professional advice from a qualified, insured and experienced arborist.

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