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Trees and high hedges

Find out more about Westminster's street trees and make an application for works to protected trees.

Published: 7 January 2021

Last updated: 19 August 2021

You can apply to carry out works on protected trees, report high hedges, or find out more information about the trees in our borough.

Trees

The trees of Westminster, whether in parks, open spaces, in private gardens or on the streets, make a significant contribution to London's reputation as one of the worlds greenest cities. 

We maintain our 9,000 street trees by inspecting and pruning on a regular cycle, and removing trees where necessary.  

An annual street tree planting programme also takes place, to ensure the continued benefits of trees for future generations. 

Trees in parks and council-owned cemeteries at East Finchley, Hanwell and Mill Hill are also maintained by the Tree Section.  

For queries about trees in streets and parks you can email us via [email protected]​. 

For queries about trees in our cemeteries, contact the Parks team. 

Privately owned trees

Many trees on privately owned land are protected by: 

It is a criminal offence to carry out tree surgery or to remove trees protected in these ways without prior consent or notifying the council. 

For further queries about privately owned trees, or to find out if a tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order, please contact [email protected]

Tree contractors 

Approved tree works should be carried out by an adequately qualified and insured tree surgeon. If you allow unauthorised tree pruning or felling to take place, both you and your contractor could be prosecuted.  

See the Arboricultural Association's directory of tree surgeons.

Carrying out works to protected trees

There are over 650 Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) that protect thousands of trees for the public's enjoyment. If you wish to carry out almost any work to a protected tree, you must first gain our consent. 

If you propose to carry out any work to a tree in a conservation area, you must give the council at least six weeks notice in writing (a section 211 notice). This gives us an opportunity to consider whether a TPO should be made in respect of the tree(s). 

The quickest and easiest way to submit your application is online. 

Apply online

You should read the checklist of documents you need to submit before making your application.  

Document

The quickest and easiest way to submit your application is online. However, If you unable to do this, then you will need to download the application below, and send the completed form to the address on the form below. 

Document
Tree works application form PDF, 496.85 KB, 4 pages

More information

High hedges

Report it: see the high hedges complaint form 

Residents can seek our intervention when they have been unable to resolve a problem with a neighbour's hedge as a result of Part 8 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003. Please see the guidance note for more information. 

Document
High hedges guidance note PDF, 92.59 KB, 2 pages

The legislation only applies if the hedge: 

  • comprises of two or more trees/shrubs 

  • is more than two meters tall 

  • is mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen 

  • is capable of obstructing light or views 

If it is decided that a hedge adversely affects the reasonable enjoyment of the neighbour's home and garden, we can issue a remedial notice to the owner of the hedge. This sets out what must be done to reduce the height of the hedge, the time-frame for doing the work and what is required to prevent the problem happening again.

Read more information on high hedges.