Trees & hedges

Slough has approx. 14,000 trees plus areas of woodland.

What is the role of the local authority?

The Council has a proactive approach to tree and hedge maintenance on highway, footway, parks and open spaces mainly through programmed works.

Council owned trees are inspected by a specialist on a three year cycle. This is required to fulfill its obligations to ensure the safety of the public and properties.

The type of maintaining works undertaken depends on the tree’s location, the trees structure and the species of tree. The minimum pruning works will be undertaken in order to sufficiently manage the tree. This may often only involve removing the lower branches to increase clearance for pedestrians and vehicle traffic, and/or cutting back the branches from adjacent buildings.

We will maintain our trees and hedges to a safe condition and will:

  • carry out routine inspections of all council owned trees;
  • carry out tri-annual pruning regimes;
  • remove dead, dying and dangerous trees;
  • remove dangerous and damaged limbs;
  • prune branches where an actionable nuisance is being caused i.e. damage to structures;
  • investigate any enquiry relating to safety within five working days, or 24 hours if urgent.

The council has no obligation to:

  • prune back or remove overhanging branches other than to abate an actionable nuisance;
  • prune or fell trees in order to improve light to a property;
  • prune or fell to enable a TV signal;
  • prune or fell trees to improve the view from a property.

The Council will not remove a tree or undertake pruning works where there is no good arboricultural reason to do so.

Report a tree or hedge issue

You can notify us of low branches or overgrown hedges on the highway or footway, which are causing obstruction to pedestrians or vehicles using the report a highways issue form.

Street trees

Street trees are an integral and sometimes historical component of the urban landscape and as such are valued by local residents. Slough has a street and highway tree population of around 4,500 trees and is increasing year on year.

Street trees are inspected regularly, during highways inspections and by a specialist every three years with pruning works being carried out where necessary.

The remaining ornamental street trees are maintained as necessary on a three yearly cycle. 

Trees in parks and green spaces

Parks trees are essential to the urban setting benefiting the environment, nature and atmosphere of our open spaces as well as generating a more pleasant landscape for local residents. Slough has a population in excess of 5,500 trees in parks, open spaces and some woodland areas.

Trees in parks and open spaces are inspected regularly during parks inspections and maintained by a specialist every three years with pruning works being carried out for health and safety reasons only.

Trees on housing land

Housing have approimately 4,000 trees on publicly accessed land and some woodland areas.

Tenants are responsible for maintaining trees in their garden. If you have any queries contact your Housing Officer who will be able to answer any questions you may have about the maintenance of trees in these areas.

Trees on privately owned land

If a tree is growing on privately owned land, then the responsibility for its maintenance rests entirely with the landowner. If the tree is causing damage to your property, you must contact the tree owner. It is not the responsibility of the council.

Advice for private tree owners

  • Prior to carrying out any work on a tree always contact the local authority to ensure that the trees are not protected by a Tree Protection Order, planning constraints or that the tree falls within a conservation area.
  • Always employ a suitably trained professional tree surgeon, who is covered by public liability insurance, ask for proof.
  • Never employ house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be professional tree surgeons.
  • A reputable tree surgeon will normally send you a written quotation which will give details of the work to be undertaken, their address and qualifications.

Do

  • inspect your trees regularly;
  • ask for advice from a reputable tree surgeon if you are concerned about anything;
  • ask for advice about fungus or cavities;
  • check for dead or broken branches that may be dangerous if they fall.

Don't

  • carry out unnecessary pruning;
  • alter the ground level under a tree, including the excavation or building up the ground;
  • build near a tree;
  • burn any rubbish or bonfires near a tree.