Trees on private land and gardens
Trees on private and unregistered land, or in council tenant's gardens are not maintained by the council.
You are allowed to prune back overhanging branches from a tree in a neighbour's property.
You must get permission before doing any work to a tree if it is covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or in a Conservation Area.
For details of contractors who can carry out the work, view a List of local tree surgeons.
Trees on public land and streets
We carry out general maintenance to trees located on the adopted highway and council open spaces.
We do not carry out unnecessary pruning of the trees in Harrow. The pruning of trees will only take place in circumstances where it is essential or advisable.
Maintenance may be carried out if one of the following applies:
- A tree is causing an obstruction to a public highway, public right of way, footpath or access to property or growing low over gardens or open spaces where the public have access.
- A tree is causing a legal nuisance to an adjoining property.
- A tree may be contributing to soil shrinkage and structural damage to adjacent buildings or other built features, where it is felt that it is appropriate to restrict the size and moisture demand of the tree.
- A tree is creating an obstruction to repairs or maintenance of a property.
- A tree is blocking daylight from habitable rooms to a severe and unreasonable degree.
- A tree is restricting surveillance and needs to be managed to create a reassuring environment, reduce fear of crime, and increase citizen surveillance.
- A tree is physically in contact with a building and/or roof of a building.
- A tree is obstructing or interfering with street lighting or highway signage or is likely to do so.
- There is a need to remove dead, diseased or damaged branches.
We will not carry out tree maintenance if any of the following applies:
- Minor loss of light or removal to improve sightlines unless there is a health and safety issue
- Sap (Honeydew)
- Bird fouling
- Satellite or TV reception signal disruption
- Pruning due to overhanging property
- Squirrels gaining access to property via trees
- Leaf, fruit or flowers and general debris fall
- Pruning or removing for speculative subsidence where no evidence provided
- Pruning or removing because of an increase to household insurance policy
- Removing to improve aesthetics
- Removing trees perceived as too large
- Removal for drop kerb/ new driveway (when tree is deemed to live longer than 5 years)
We carry out pruning of shrubs and trees on a regular basis to ensure that the parks and pathways we maintain meet health and safety standards.
Damage caused by trees on public streets
If you suspect damage such as cracks in walls or surrounding land to a property, is caused by a tree located on a public street, you should contact our Insurance Department.