Trees in Private Ownership - FAQ's
The following information aims to answer some of the more common questions asked about trees in residential areas. There are leaflets available to view on the Tree pages and the Conservation and Environmental pages of our website which may help.
Guidelines for the Public about the Council’s Tree Service together with leaflets are available from
Information on Tree Preservation Orders, trees in Conservation Areas and planning conditions relating to trees is available on the planning pages of our website.
You can find out if you live in a conservation area by visiting our Conservation pages on our website where you can view maps showing the boundary of each area.
There are 23 Conservation areas including Bangor On Dee, Bersham, Cefn Mawr, Chirk, Erbistock, Fairy Road, Wrexham, Gresford, Grosvenor Road, Wrexham, Hanmer, Hightown Barracks, Wrexham, Holt, Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Marchwiel, Marford, Minera, Overton, Penycae, Rossett, Ruabon, Salisbury Park, Wrexham, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Worthenbury, Wrexham Town Centre.
You can find out if your tree is protected by a tree preservation order or subject to planning conditions by contacting Contact Wrexham where you can speak to one of our trained Customer Advisors.
Find us at 16 Lord Street, Wrexham LL11 1LG (a short walk from Wrexham Bus Station).
Opening Hours (8.30am - 5.30pm, Monday-Friday)
Telephone 01978 298989
My neighbour has a tall tree which casts shadow over my garden. Can the Council ask him to prune it?
The Council do not enforce any general restrictions over the height of individual trees and cannot arbitrate between you and your neighbour. If you are affected by several trees which may constitute a hedge then the legislation relating to high hedges may be able to help. Information about high hedges can be found on our website.
At Wrexham we undertake a risk assessment of trees on council land in order to do everything we reasonably can to ensure trees do not cause harm or damage to persons or property. You are advised to read the following leaflet:
Guidelines for the Public on the Wrexham County Borough Council Tree Service.
- Trees on Parks, Open Space & Highways - Phone: 01978 729634 or 729641
- Trees on Housing Land - Phone: 01978 292069
If the tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order or is within a Conservation Area the tree is protected and you will need to submit details of any work to the Council. If the tree is not protected you are advised to discuss any work with your neighbour and you should seek the advice of a tree contractor who will inspect the tree and may recommend work to help with the problem.
I am concerned about the large tree in my garden causing subsidence to my house, can I fell it before any damage occurs?
The tree is only one of several factors involved in tree related subsidence, the others being the nature of the soil, quality of foundations and climate. Subsidence occurs when tree roots near to foundations cause certain types of soil to shrink in dry weather leaving part of the foundation unsupported.
Properties built after 1986 will be subject to more stringent building regulations designed to reduce the risk of subsidence. Climate change will mean that periods of drought are likely to become more frequent in the future fortunately the wetter weather we have in Wrexham will make this less acute. You are advised seek the advice of a building surveyor regarding the condition of the building.
It is possible that your neighbour’s tree is responsible but it is unlikely. You should inform your insurance company of the problem who will seek the advice of a building surveyor. A period of monitoring will usually be required to establish the likely cause of the crack before remedial action is considered.
I can see that the root of my neighbour’s tree has pushed my boundary wall causing it to crack, what can I do?
As the owner of the tree your neighbour, in most cases, is responsible for any damage it causes. For any claim to be successful you will need to demonstrate that your neighbour’s tree is responsible for the damage. You are advised seek the advice of a building surveyor or reputable builder.
Your neighbour is entitled to plant a tree anywhere in their own garden however they will be responsible for any foreseeable nuisance the tree causes.
I have bought a property which has several mature trees in the garden, how do I know if they are safe?
You should seek the advice of a tree contractor or consultant regarding the condition of the trees. They will inspect the trees, make a note of their condition and may recommend work to them. If your trees are subject to a Tree Preservation Order or are within a Conservation Area in most circumstances you will need to submit details of the work to the Council. It is recommended that mature trees close to buildings or the public highway are routinely inspected. The frequency of inspections will depend on the size and condition of the trees.
A large tree in my garden is hollow at the base and I think it is dangerous and likely to fall down, what should I do?
You must not ignore any critical defects in a tree and should seek the advice of a tree contractor or consultant over the tree’s condition. If the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or situated within a designated Conservation Area you should also notify the Council. Most insurance policies provide cover for claims resulting from trees however if you do not take action to deal with a dangerous tree your insurance company are likely to reject any claim.
If the tree causes damage to a neighbour’s property they may make a claim against you. The Council have powers to deal with dangerous trees adjacent to the highway and dangerous trees affecting neighbouring land. In each case the Council have default powers to enter land, remove the danger and recover any reasonable expenses incurred.
Ivy is not parasitic and does not kill trees. The main problem associated with ivy is that it can significantly increase the ‘sail effect’ and weight of deciduous trees in winter making them more prone to storm damage. Another problem is that ivy can hide defects in the trunk and main branches of a tree.
Ivy is important ecologically. It flowers late in the year offering one of the last sources of food for insects before winter. The fruit develops during the winter and is ripe in early spring when there is a shortage of food for birds and mammals. Due to its evergreen nature ivy also provides good winter cover. Ivy will probably need controlling if it extends high into the crown of a tree and is growing along the lateral branches.
Ivy is usually controlled by cutting and removing sections of the ivy stems at the base of the tree. If ivy has become rampant it may indicate that the tree is unhealthy. This occurs when a tree is dying back allowing more light into the centre of the crown which benefits the growth of ivy. You should seek the advice of a tree contractor or consultant regarding the condition of a suspect tree.
If you consider your neighbour’s trees are causing a nuisance in the legal sense then you are advised to contact a solicitor. The Council cannot arbitrate in disputes between neighbours over trees.
Under the Local Government Miscellaneous provisions Act 1976 the Council possesses specific powers to deal with dangerous trees reported as being dangerous by a neighbour. The Council also has powers to deal with trees on private land that are obstructing the public highway or are a danger to highway users.
In response to public concern the Government has granted powers to Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) and other Local Authorities in Wales and England to control the height of the hedges near to residential properties. Information on high hedges is available on this website.
The council does not have any leaflets but there are many websites that offer advice including the following:
The council has information about Ash Dieback, how to spot it and how to report it on our website:
Tree Surgery is a highly specialised job which requires knowledge, skill and experience. Competent arborists (tree surgeons) will have certificates which show that they have been trained and assessed and they will use safety equipment to protect you, your property and themselves.
Please see the advice leaflet in "downloads" on this page.
The Arboriculture Association and International Society of Arboriculture are the two main tree care organisations in the UK.