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Report a tree issue

How to report an issue related to a fallen or damaged tree. 

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Information about Trees and management

Northumberland County Council (NCC) is responsible for the safety and management of trees on all land under it is ownership or part of an adoption agreement, though some parcels of land may be leased to other organisations who have their own management arrangements.

Areas where NCC has responsibility for tree management and maintenance include:

  • The majority of roadside grass verges but typically not trees in hedgerows.
  • Public Parks and Public Open Space maintained by Northumberland County Council (NCC)
  • Country Parks
  • Housing Estates, though some land may not be adopted and therefore not under the management of the local authority.
  • Cemeteries maintained by NCC and closed churchyards

The safety of trees on privately owned land adjacent to roads are the responsibility of the owner of the adjacent land or hedge. The County Council is not responsible for trees planted along major trunk roads or on private roads.

Trees are an essential asset and yet can be a highly emotive issue, both in terms of benefits they provide and potential nuisance. Northumberland County Council are committed to managing its trees to ensure public safety is achieved and ensuring available resources are utilised to deal with tree related issues on a priority basis, whilst considering their importance, value and environmental benefit.

Requests for maintenance and reports are set out below under the main areas of service requests. Whilst some of these requests and reports may identify hazardous issues, risk or nuisance, lesser requests may be deemed as low priority. 

Priority work guide

The Priority Banding explains the urgency of work, and in each category a list of maintenance that would normally fall into that priority/risk rating has been given as guidance. However until the tree has been inspected and the relevant information has been recorded its true priority cannot be established. It is strongly emphasised that these categories and figures are only guidelines which are applicable under normal circumstances only. The occurrence of emergencies, storms and other events beyond our control will take priority over programmed work and this may result in scheduled work being delayed. Click here to view the tree works priority guide.


Information about what to do if a tree has caused damaged.

Is the tree under Northumberland County Council management causing damage to private property?

Guidance on Supporting Information required for Tree Related Damage

 Alleged damage to private property by trees - Tree conflicts can arise on account of the presence of tree roots and overhanging limbs and the perception that they are causing damage. Damage can occur in several forms, and we’ve set out to address some of those issues below and the information required for us to assess where damage is alleged.

  • Subsidence is a complex subject and often difficult to assess visually. If the property owner wishes to submit a claim, they will be required to submit the below evidence to support this. It is advised that the property owner contacts their building insurer in the first instance due to the complexity of these matters.
  1. Root analysis to confirm presence, condition, and species identification of vegetation.
  2. Crack/level monitoring showing movement.
  3. Soil analysis, soil type and moisture levels
  4. Foundation data
  5. Complete structural survey
  • Direct root damage  is usually caused by tree root applying pressure to a surface or object. Lightly loaded structures, such as garden walls, driveways and patios, may be affected but damage to heavily loaded structures, such as houses, is rare. Cases of direct root damage, where evidence has been provided confirming the alleged damage has occurred for trees under Northumberland County Council (NCC)’s responsibility, will be investigated and considered on an individual basis. We'll try to achieve a balance struck between the nuisance experienced and the tree's benefits to the wider community. The removal of the tree would not necessarily be an acceptable solution, alternative options such as root pruning and/or the installation of a root barrier maybe more suitable.
  • Surface roots in gardens and areas of grass are a natural occurrence near trees. Neither pruning nor removal of the tree will have any effect on the presence of the roots such as in a lawn. Unless the roots are causing some form of mechanical damage, pruning or removal would not be recommended.
  • Drains and roots Tree roots cannot cause direct damage to pipework. Damage only takes place if the pipework is not fully sealed or already has a defect. It would be the property owner's responsibility to ensure their pipework is fully watertight and in good condition.

If a member of the public would like to make a claim for damage, please contact the insurance section email: and a claim form will be issued.

Is the tree damaging the surface of a highway or pavement?

Report damage to a surface of a highway


Information about if a tree has fallen or branches are causing obstructions.

Is the tree is obstructing a streetlight?

Report an obstruction to a streetlight

The tree is causing a physical obstruction (e.g. branches preventing access)

Report a tree obstruction

The tree is affecting public access, highway safety or visibility

Report a tree affecting access and visibility


Information about if a tree is causing a risk towards a person/s, property or highways.

The tree is affecting public access, highway safety or visibility

Report a tree affecting access and visibility

Tree maintenance request for trees in a dangerous condition not on a highway verge or private land

Examples of areas include:

  • Open space
  • Parks
  • Church yards/cemeteries
  • Housing estate open space areas
  • Northumberland County Council woodlands/country parks

Report a tree that needs maintenance

Requests for dead, dying diseased trees on private land or roadside verges that may impact or pose a risk to the highway

Report a tree in poor health

The tree is blocking a drain or gutter

Leaves from the tree would be the responsibility of the occupier to remove.

Report growth from the base of a tree

Report a blocked drain  

Requests for encroachment & obstruction onto the public highway including roads, paths, cycleways

Report an obstruction on a public highway

Requests regarding trees on a roadside verge impacting on buildings/property and other private land

Report a tree impacting on buildings/property

Requests regarding damage to the highway, raised paths, trip hazards etc.

Report damage to a public highway

Non-Urgent, other requests

Request for Non-Urgent Works such as the following:

  • Height/size
  • Leaf fall
  • Berries
  • Bird poo
  • Insects
  • Blocking light
  • TV and satellite issues
  • BT issues
  • Honey dew/sap

The above are low priority issues; inspections of low priority issues can only take place when resources allow; any ensuing works can only take place when resources allow.  To report any request, visit fix my street.

Requests regarding trees covered by TPO's, conservation areas, planning issues or works to privately owned trees

Information about trees relating to planning issues..

Request for maintenance to a tree in school grounds?

Direct to property services -

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