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You are here:home > Environment > Trees > Trees services FAQs

Trees services FAQs

Below are a number of frequently asked questions.

Tree FAQ

1. How do I report an emergency tree enquiry?

Call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm.

If the emergency is outside these times call the Out of Hours number 023 8023 3344.  

Emergency tree enquiries include falling trees, broken branches, hanging broken branches, leaning trees and decayed dangerous trees.

2. How do I make a tree enquiry?

Enquiries can be made by calling Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or emailing trees@southampton.gov.uk

Some enquiries can also be made by using our online web forms.  Forms online:

The web form to report a council owned tree that requires maintenance can be used for issues such as:

  • tree blocking streetlight or street sign
  • tree overhanging property
  • low branches over road/footpath
  • tree may be dying 
Name, address, telephone number and/or email address is required. The location of the tree and a description of the tree issue is also required.  This enables us to look into the enquiry and provide the correct information. 
 
If there are times of day/dates that not convenient to contact you, please let us know.
 
Some enquiries can also be made by using the Recycle for Southampton App.
   
Emergency tree enquiries need to be reported to Actionline or the Out of Hours number.

3. How do I report a vandalised council tree?

If a council tree has been pulled out, snapped or damaged by fire call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm.

If the vandalised tree is damaged outside these times and there is risk to health and safety call the Out of Hours number 023 8023 3344.  

4. How can I find out the status of my enquiry?

A reference will be provided for the enquiry. Call the Actionline 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk for an update.

Some enquiries take longer than others to resolve. Some may involve a visit or additional information from other parties.

If council tree works are required a job will be created and this will be passed to our contractor at the appropriate time.  Planned works can get delayed, this can be due to poor weather when the contractor can have a high number of emergencies to deal with. 

The enquiry will be updated and we will provide information as soon as possible. 

5. How can I find out if a tree is protected?

Submit a web form.

The enquiry will be logged by the Actionline and the property/piece of land will be checked by the Trees Team.

6. How can I make a request for a tree to be protected?

Call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk to log an enquiry. 

We will need the exact address of the property or an accurate description of the location of the land where the tree is situated.

A tree officer will investigate the request and determine if a tree is worthy of protecting with a tree preservation order. 

7. How can I find out if permission has been granted for works to protected trees?

Permission & Refusal notices for trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order are available online. Conservation Area Notices and information about property/land with a planning approval notice are also available online.

Call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk to log an enquiry. 

Should illegal tree works be taking place the council will investigate. 

8. How can I see a tree preservation order?

An appointment can be made to view a tree preservation order or a copy can be purchase for £36.

See the tree preservation order page for more information.

 

9. How can I check on a planning application with trees on or near the site?

Check the planning application online. Details such as documents, dates and the status of the application are shown.

Call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk to log an enquiry. If possible please provide the planning reference number.  This enquiry will be assigned to the Tree Team.

10. What can be done about a neighbours tree overhanging my garden?

You will need to check if the tree is protected

If the tree is not protected you may prune the overhanging branches back to your boundary.  You cannot reduce the height of your neighbours tree without their permission.

If the tree is protected you will need to make the relevant application/notification for the works.  Should permission be granted you will be able to arrange for the tree to be pruned as agreed in the notice.

If the tree is owned by the Council you can request that the overhanging branches are pruned back.  An enquiry can be logged with the Actionline or a web form can be used to report the issue.  A tree officer will look into the enquiry and let you know if tree works can be  carried out at a future date.

Log an enquiry with the Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk

11. What can be done about a dangerous tree on a private property?

If you are concerned that a tree on private property may be dangerous, contact the land owner.  If the land owner refuses to take action log an enquiry with Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk

A land owner is responsible for trees on their land.  Should a tree/s be dangerous for reasons such as hanging broken branches, split in the tree trunk, large branches falling, tree decayed or tree uprooting and leaning - the owner should arrange for the tree to be made safe.

If you feel this is an emergency (i.e tree may fall imminently) call Actionline on 023 8083 3005 Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5 pm.

If the emergency is outside these times call the Out of Hours number 023 8023 3344.  

12. Who can I contact about suspected subsidence caused by trees?

If the trees are situated on a private property contact your insurance company to seek further advice. The issue will need to be thoroughly investigated and the cause of any damage determined.  A tree/s may or may not be the cause of the damage.

If the trees are situated on a council owned property call the Actionline on 023 8083 3006 and log an enquiry for the housing repairs team. A web form can also be used to report the issue. The enquiry will need to be thoroughly investigated and the cause of any damage determined.

There is also information about this issue on the Arboricultural Association website.

13. What can be done about a high hedge on someone else's land?

For information about privately owned high hedges see the high hedges page.

If a council owned high hedge is an issue call the Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email trees@southampton.gov.uk to log an enquiry.  Hedges in council owned properties are reduced to 2m or removed.

14. What can be done about 1 individual tall tree in my neighbours garden?

1 individual tall tree in a neighbours garden will not be considered a high hedge.

You can ask the land owner if they will consider reducing the height of the tree. It will be up to the land owner whether they choose to have the height of the tree reduced, dependant on the legal status of the tree.

15. Who can I contact about a hedge overhanging a public road/footpath?

If a council owned hedge is overhanging a public road or footpath contact Actionline on 023 8083 3008. A web form can also be used to report this issue.  The enquiry will be logged for the Grounds Maintenance Team.

If a privately owned hedge is overhanging a public road or footpath contact Actionline on 023 8083 3008.  A web form can also be used to report this issue. An enquiry will be logged for the Highways Team.

The Tree Team does not deal with this type of hedge enquiry.

16. Who can I contact about a privately owned tree overhanging a public road/footpath?

If a privately owned tree is overhanging a public road or footpath contact Actionline on 023 8083 3008. A web form can also be used to report this issue. An enquiry will be logged for the Highways Team.

The Tree Team does not deal with this type of tree enquiry.

17. How can I make an insurance claim?

A request for a claim form can be made by contacting Actionline on 023 8083 3005. 

Name, address and a description of the type of damage is required (for example: during a storm a council owned tree has fallen and a fence has been damaged).  Any claims will be dealt with by the Insurance Services Team. 

18. How can I find a tree surgeon?

We would suggest looking at the Arboricultural Association web site.  It is advisable to get 2-3 quotes for tree works, prices vary.

19. How can I get rid of tree garden waste from a private property?

The council has a new garden waste collection service. Items such as leaves, twigs, bark and small branches up to 7.5 centimetres in diameter may be placed in the garden waste bin. 

Larger items may be able to go to the recycling centre.

A tree surgeon may also be able to assist with requests for removal of tree waste.

The Tree Team does not deal with this type of tree enquiry.

20. Who can I contact about trees on railway land?

Call Railways Community Relations on  0845 7114 141 or visit the website 

21. How can I find out who owns a property/piece of land?

Council owned land is shown on the online map

For enquiries about privately owned land visit the Land Registry website or call 0130 536 3636.  Land searches can be made for a small fee.

22. Can the council help with the cost of tree work?

The council is unable to assist with the cost of works to trees on privately owned land.

Contact information