The law protects certain individual trees and groups of trees. Trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or situated within a Conservation Area are protected under a range of legislation that makes it an offence to carry out any work on those trees without permission from West Lindsey District Council. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to check if the tree is protected.
For your own trees, ownership carries responsibility - including financial. Ideally, a tree owner should have their trees regularly inspected and carry out any work needed, having first obtained the necessary consent from the council.
Under common law ‘Duty of Care’ the owner should ensure their trees are kept in a condition as “reasonable as can be expected”. This cannot force owners to maintain their trees, but if the trees are not regularly inspected or maintained and then the tree causes damage or injury then liability is placed upon the owner. If the owner is taken to court and found to have failed in their duty of care, and been negligent due to their inaction, then they may be liable for costs and/or compensation if it is decided that the danger would have been foreseen had the trees been inspected. If the danger could not have been foreseen to prevent damage or injury then the owner may not be found to have been negligent.
Trees that grow in council owned property or on public open spaces that the council is responsible for are also protected as they are deemed as council property. Anyone wilfully damaging these can be prosecuted. If you think the tree is council owned check with us by contacting customer services using the general enquiries form.
If the tree is growing in a highway verge please contact Lincolnshire County Council.
If you have any queries or would like advice about tree care and maintenance, details can be found below.
Some advice for private tree owners
- Always contact the council to ensure that the trees are not protected by a Tree Preservation Order, planning constraints or that the tree is within a Conservation Area.
- Always employ a suitable trained professional tree surgeon, who is covered by Public Liability Insurance. (Always ask for proof).
- Never employ house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be professional tree surgeons.
- Reputable tree surgeons will always have some form of professional identification and qualification proof. Always ask to see it.
Trees and Hedges
West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard