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The West Somerset area Planning Search will be unavailable on Wednesday 21 October from 6pm for essential maintenance.


Trees owned by us are inspected for safety on a cycle between 1 and 5 years according to the level of public use in the area surrounding the tree. Inspections are carried out to check whether any works are needed to make our trees safe.

If our trees pose a danger to people or properties we will carry out emergency works within 24 hours of the report, or necessary works within 18 months, if the tree does not pose an imminent danger.

A tree poses imminent danger if it:

  • has snapped or blown over
  • is rocking at its base / roots are damaged
  • is uprooted but held by another tree or building
  • has a large branch that has broken off or is hanging off the tree
  • is blocking the road, footpath or access to a property
  • has fallen onto a house or car

Signs which may mean that a tree needs attention but does not require an emergency response include a tree which:

  • is dead
  • is dying / has a few leaves in summer or is dying back in the crown
  • has bark that is loose and falling off
  • has mushrooms or fungi growing on or near the tree
  • has old splits and cracks in the trunk or large branches
  • has smaller branches falling from the tree

Trees will not be felled, cut back or pruned purely to improve TV or radio reception, to light a property or to improve the view.

We will make sure that a specified standard is met at all times. Grade A is what the tree should look like just after we have finished work, Grade B is how it should look just before we return and Grade C is an indicator of when a tree has been missed or maintained to an unacceptable standard. Over the course of the year, trees will grow at different rates and during periods of peak growing weather this can put us under pressure to keep up, so we would appreciate your help to let us know if any trees reach Grade C so that they can be attended to as soon as possible.

We have provided a visual guide to set out the standard and we hope that it gives you a visual reference to ensure that the standard is being met.

tree grade A

Tree crown raised appropriately providing clear views.

Growth prevented from damaging buildings.

tree grade B

Tree in need of some attention but poses no health and safety risk.

Maintenance would be needed within 6 months.

No physical impact on nearby buildings.

This is the lowest standard that you should see.

tree grade C

Trees unmaintained for a significant period.

Tree growth impacting on the building.

Health and safety risk.

Report a problem

To report a non urgent problem with a council owned tree, fill out the online tree, hedge or grass problem form.

To report a tree related emergency out of hours, call us on 0300 304 8000.