Somerset County Council

Report problem with a tree by the road


We are responsible for the maintenance of the majority of trees on roadside verges, including street trees in urban areas. We maintain and preserve our trees while making sure they do not pose a risk to people or property.

We are responsible for the maintenance of 6500kms of road network. Many of these roads have associated land or verges which, in the majority of cases, also belong to us. Any trees situated in these areas are our responsibility. 

We deal with the management and maintenance of trees situated on highway land throughout Somerset. We also deal with tree enquiries from the public and Parish and District Councils. We can also provide general advice on horticultural or arboricultural related issues. 

When we receive an enquiry we record the details and check our records to make sure we own the tree. Most of the time we will visit the site to inspect the tree.

We deal with emergencies as soon as possible, and less urgent cases within 10 working days.

If your query relates to trees that are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or are in a Conservation Area, please contact your District Council.

A tree outside my house needs pruning. What should I do?
Please contact us.

Do I need permission to fell or prune a tree?
Trees may be subject to planning controls administered by us, so you are advised to check with us before stating any work to trees. Contact the Tree Officer at your District Council. Formal approval must be sought from your District Council if the tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order. Six weeks' written notice must be given to your District Council if the tree is in a Conservation Area.

How do I report an overhanging hedge?
The maintenance of a hedge is the responsibility of the landowner. If a hedge encroaches on a highway and causes a hazard or an obstruction, the landowner is expected to cut the hedge back. If a landowner fails in this duty and this inconveniences highway users, we can serve notice on the owner to ensure the hazard/obstruction is removed. To report an overhanging hedge or vegetation obstructing the highway please contact us.

I am concerned that a Council owned tree is damaging my property. What should I do?
You will need to put your allegations of damage in writing to the County Arboriculturist. We will inspect the site as soon as possible and inform you of any action that needs to be taken. You should also contact your building insurer to seek their advice.


Contact: Roads and Transport Team
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

If there is an urgent problem outside these hours and it is a risk to public safety please phone the police on 101.

If you need to visit a highway area office you can find the address of your local office here.

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