Council offers advice on trees and hedges before spring has sprung

22 January 2019

Spring is just around the corner and Cheshire West and Chester Council is reminding residents that now is the best time to prune some trees and hedges, before the start of the bird nesting season.

Outside of the borough’s woodland areas, the Council is responsible for around 28,000 trees and 23 miles of hedges.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Karen Shore said: “Many trees in public spaces are maintained by the Council, this includes trees in public parks and open spaces and those within highway verges.  However, residents, landowners and farmers are responsible for trees and hedges on private land.

“Our Tree officers recommend that cutting hedges and trees is avoided between March and August as that is the main breeding season for nesting birds.

“We’d like to remind people that now is the ideal time to prune because the lack of foliage makes it easier to see how the tree or hedge has grown and where it needs attention.”

You should check whether or not the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), as works to cut overhanging branches may need special permission.

It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wildbird while it is in use or being built.

The council’s website has a wide range of advice and guidance if you have a problem with trees that are not on council-owned land.

Residents can report issues with trees in public open spaces, parks, woodlands and highway verges using the links on the Your Streets website: http://westcheshireyourstreets.co.uk/.

Once an enquiry has been logged it will be inspected by the relevant officers and where action is justified for safety reasons, it will be arranged.

The council will investigate enquiries where a tree is causing an obstruction, is dead, dying or dangerous; damaging property or surfaces; or obscuring road, street signs or lighting columns.  The council is not able to prune or fell trees for reasons such as shade, leaf litter, TV reception, bird fouling or insect activity.
 

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