Hedges and Trees

Private landowners and occupiers have responsibility for:

  • Ensuring growth does not obscure road signs
  • Maintaining visibility for road users, particularly at junctions and on the inside of bends
  • Ensuring growth does not prevent the passage or affect the safety of people using a road, footway, cycleway or public right of way, including cyclists and pedestrians
  • Removing dead or decaying trees and other growth that may fall across the highway
  • Removing branches that may prevent the passage of high-sided vehicles or obstruct light from a street light
  • Ensuring the highway is left clear of debris from cutting work
  • Arranging for hedge and tree maintenance works to be undertaken.

We are responsible for:

  • Managing and keeping the trees and hedges we own, i.e. those growing within the highway (including verges and footways) in a safe condition and ensuring they do not damage property or obstruct the highway
  • Protecting safety by ensuring that owners and occupiers maintain roadside hedges and trees as outlined above. A programme of cyclic inspections is completed covering the highway network in Rutland and, when necessary, we liaise with tree owners to ask that appropriate work be carried out

Safety concerns

COVID-19: Council building closures and changes to service opening hours

If a tree or hedge is causing an immediate danger to the safety of road users, it is classed as an emergency. You should contact us by telephoning us on 01572 722 577 to report an concern rather than using an online form. 

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm. Dial 999 outside office hours for our emergency service.

If you would like to report online please use our FixMyStreet Service

Timing of maintenance work

Landowners and farmers are recommended to undertake trimming in January and February and not to cut back hedges from 1 April to 31 July. This is to cut the chance of disturbing breeding birds and destroying nests; allow most plants to finish flowering and seeding; allow nuts and berries to be available to wildlife for as long as possible in winter, and to reduce congestion and delays, as there will probably be less traffic on the roads.

Taking care when maintaining trees

Trees should be retained and protected wherever possible. Pruning or felling can be the subject of significant local concern, and should only be done with specialist advice and support. Any works should be carried out by a qualified and insured contractor.

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