Tree and Hedge Management
We look after the over 20,000 trees along the highways as well as the many different species in the parks and open spaces of Southend.
If you have any questions regarding street trees or if you notice that a street tree is dying or dangerous please contact us.
If you think a street tree is causing structural damage to your property please write to:Insurance & Risk Management, Department of the Chief Executive
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
PO Box 2
Usually, you will have to give evidence to support the claim, usually in the form of an insurer's or expert's report.
Privately Owned Trees
- Usually trees that are on your land (even if you didn’t plant the tree) are your responsibility, unless it says otherwise in your tenancy agreement.
- Ownership of the tree is decided by the position of the trunk. Ownership may be shared if the tree straddles a boundary.
- If you are responsible for a tree, you are also responsible for any problems or damage that it causes. You must also make sure that you do not allow a tree to become dangerous through negligence.
- The courts suggest that you should inspect your trees regularly for possible problems. If you don’t inspect your trees or don’t take action if you find an issue, you may have to pay for the damage the tree causes.
- Liability can apply as much to the roots of the tree as it does to the branches, where they cross a boundary and cause damage.
- Some privately owned trees that make a significant contribution to the streetscene are protected by Tree Preservation Orders. You should check with us whether your trees are covered by Tree Preservation Order before undertaking any pruning or felling works.
We have a set programme for street tree planting, but you could also enhance your environment by planting a tree in your garden.
Tree Planting Checklist
- New trees should be planted in the dormant season between October and March to allow the roots to become established before spring. You may consider a tree native to the British Isles.
- Ensure that there is sufficient space for the tree to grow to maturity without damaging your property or your neighbour's property. Technical guidance is available on the NHBC website.
New legislation about High Hedges came into force on 1st June 2005. It gives Local Authorities the power to require owners and occupiers of domestic properties with high hedges to reduce the height of their hedges where it is adversely affecting the neighbour.
For more information visit the High Hedges Webpage.
Page last updated: 30/10/2019