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Glasgow City Council

Tree Responsibility

Who is responsible?

The responsibility for good management of all trees always rests with the property owner, as does the responsibility for obtaining the correct permissions for any proposed works.

Trees on council and public land

As a general guide if the tree is on council/public land e.g. parks, street trees or on public land such as schools - we will be the lead authority, and any queries affecting these trees should be directed to our Arboricultural team by completing our online form. You can also contact us on 0141 287 5064.

Trees on private land

If the tree is on private land such as a garden or a neighbour's garden any works are the responsibility of the private owner. If a neighbour's tree has branches which overhang your property then you are within your right to cut these back to the line of the property boundary but technically the branches remain the property of the neighbour, to whom the cut material should first be offered prior to responsible disposal.

Tree preservation orders or conservation areas

However if the tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order or lies within a Conservation Area, prior approval as outlined above must be sought before any work are undertaken and this approval can ONLY be granted to an application made by the owner.

If a neighbour is unwilling to comply with works to a tree on his land that may be affecting or deemed to affect your property then independent and private legal advice may be required and you should consult your solicitor.

The following reasons will not constitute grounds for the pruning or removal of trees:

  • Interference with satellite dish/TV reception
  • Where tree is perceived to be too large or may obstruct a view
  • Mess or problems caused by insects or birds, leaf fall, fruit or pollen
  • Healthy mature trees will not be removed to create space to plant new trees, even where these are being paid for privately.
  • The perceived risk that it will cause subsidence in the future or causing disruption to pavements, kerbs, garden paths and walls. In these cases engineering solutions should first be sought.

What you need to do if felling trees

If you are proposing to fell trees on land encompassing an area of woodland greater than 5 cubic metres you will require to apply for a felling license from the Forestry Commission in Scotland, certain exemptions do apply as below:

  • domestic gardens
  • orchards
  • churchyards and public open space
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