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Tree Management


We can give general advice on trees, as well as being responsible for maintaining trees in our ownership or care. In some areas there may be restrictions on what you can do to trees. If in doubt, please contact us on 01506 280000 or via email on

NETs and Land Services are responsible for the care of trees in the council's control. If you feel that a tree is sick, please contact us on the above number and your details will be taken and passed on to a qualified officer who can assess the tree.

If there is a tree preservation order in force in your area - or if you live in a conservation area - you will be restricted in what you can do. Staff in the Customer Service Centre can check whether your area or tree is covered by any restrictions.

Tree Planting Requests:
The Council undertakes to plant or replace trees in open spaces managed and maintained by NETs and Land Services. The number of trees planted can vary for year to year and we evaluate carefully all potential tree planting sites.

Tree Leaves Causing Problems:
Tree will never be removed purely for this reason. However, there may be other reasons that tree pruning or removal may be considered. For example where a tree is dead/diseased, dying or dangerous or there maybe a high risk to public safety, in such cases replacement by more suitable species will be the primary option. Council street cleaning arrangements include provision for dealing with leaf litter.

Tree Preservation Orders:
Advice can be given regarding trees which are in a conservation area of which are protected by a tree preservation order (TPO). The Council's Development Management Service can provide guidance advice about conservation areas and TPO's. You may need permission to do works to a protected tree. For further information, please contact the Development Management office on 01506 282456.

NETs and Land Services Arbor Team, who are responsible for trees in West Lothian, have achieved ARB Approved Contractor status. Being one of its type within the arboricultural industry, the scheme seeks to set a benchmark for tree work standards and operations and covers the assessment of approximately 300 separate points as part of its qualifying criteria. The principle aim of the scheme is to promote the highest standards of tree care and management operations throughout the UK & Ireland but it also includes a very rigorous audit of health & safety management systems, compliance with industry good practice and high standards in customer care procedures.

Updated 06/09/11

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

Can the Council help lop and remove trees from my garden?

If you are a Council tenant a request should be made through your Local Housing Office . No assistance can be given to private tenants.

Do I need the Council's permission before I cut down or prune trees?

In many cases, the Council's permission is not required. However, you should check if the tree is protected by a tree preservation order (TPO). If it is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or a condition of a planning consent, a formal application to cut it down or prune it will be required. Similarly, if the tree is within a Conservation Area, then you must give the council six weeks written notice of your intention to carry out tree works. In addition, in certain circumstances, you may require a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission.

Who is responsible for looking after trees?

Owners of the land that the tree grows on are responsible for the tree, so if the council owns the land that the tree grows on then the council is responsible for the maintenance of the tree. If the council does not own the land, please contact the legal owner.