Tree management and pruning

We manage all trees on Council land. These trees are inspected at appropriate intervals by qualified and experienced arboriculturalists. We use our arboriculturalists' surveys to plan any safety work required and develop our Ward Works and Clear Borough maintenance schedules.

General pruning

We carry out a regular cycle of pruning as part of our Ward Works programme. This includes:

  • Pruning trees back to previous pruning points
  • Pruning or removing higher branches to prevent obstruction of the highway and contact with properties

The timing of tree pruning can be subject to change, for example if we are experiencing poor weather conditions. Priority will be given where there is concern about trees' safety

When are trees not pruned?

We do not carry out tree work which may result in unnecessary damage or injury to trees, so cannot prune or remove trees for any of the following reasons:

  • Prevention of shade
  • Interference with television/satellite signals and private CCTV operations
  • Contact with overhead telephone lines
  • Branches overhanging neighbouring property
  • Prevention of animal/insect droppings or squirrel access
  • If trees are perceived as too large
  • Seasonal occurrences such as leaf, flower, seed and fruit fall

Planned work timetable

Ward works have now been awarded to a new contractor who will be carrying out cyclical tree works in East Sheen, Barnes and Kew. Work is to start from the week commencing 16 October and it is anticipated that work will be completed in mid-December 2017.

All remaining wards will be surveyed and general pruning works will be carried out in accordance with the previous year’s cycles as outlined below. We will be preparing a new more specific schedule in January 2018, which will run for the next four years.

Tree management timetable
Ward Date of works
Barnes October to December 2017
East Sheen October to December 2017
Fulwell and Hampton Hill 2020/21
Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside 2018/19
Hampton 2018/19
Hampton North 2018/19
Hampton Wick 2018/19
Heathfield 2017/18
Kew October to December 2017
Mortlake and Barnes Common 2020/21
North Richmond 2020/21
South Richmond 2018/19
South Twickenham 2019/20
St Margarets and North Twickenham 2019/20
Teddington 2018/19
Twickenham Riverside 2019/20
West Twickenham 2019/20
Whitton 2017/18

A hazard survey of trees in five wards is currently underway. This survey is aimed at identifying trees that require remedial works due to proximity issues; low canopies that may impede vehicular or pedestrian access or because they are dead or where the physiological or structural condition is compromised.

All other wards will be surveyed in accordance with the above ward works schedule.

Keeping streets clear from obstruction

The annual Clear Borough pruning programme has been introduced to keep public footpaths and highways free from obstructions. It includes:

  • Removing small dead trees
  • Removing or pruning any low branches that are over a public highway or footway to a suitable height
  • Removing basal and stem (epicormic) growth
  • Ensuring that all newly planted trees have their stakes adjusted and removed once the tree has become established and no longer requires support

This is currently being reviewed and a detailed schedule will be updated by the end of April 2018.

Lime tree basal growth

Lime trees tend to produce large amounts of epicormic growth at their base and stem during the summer months. This could begin to obstruct public highways or footways, so we remove basal growth(pdf, 443KB) from all Council-owned lime trees in early summer (May/June) and towards the end of the summer (August/September).

Up to:

Updated: 3 August 2018