Carrying Out Tree Work

A tree is a living organism and maintenance operations such as the removal of dead, dying, diseased or damaged branches, are required from time to time to maintain its health and appearance. It is likely therefore that applications to carry out maintenance on protected trees will not only be granted but also encouraged.

Before undertaking any tree work we advise you contact East Lothian Council via the address to write or email [email protected] to find out whether a tree is protected and permission for work is required.

It is advisable to employ a qualified person to both assess and undertake any maintenance work. The leaflet Choosing your arborist is available from The Arboricultural Association.

IMPORTANT: All tree work must be carried out in accordance with British Standard BS 3998:2010 Tree work Recommendations. Your arborist should have knowledge of this

Please note: It is an offence to fell, lop, top or carry out any work on protected trees without permission.  If convicted, a fine of up to £20,000 may be imposed.

An application or notification for tree work should be submitted to our Landscape Team via the details above. Please provide details of the tree(s) and their location (a plan is helpful), a description of the work and reasons for the work and any replanting proposals for trees to be felled. If replanting is not proposed you should explain why.

It should be noted that trees can be easily damaged and we advise that no fixings or structures (such as tree houses) be attached to them, or for any groundworks or for the erection of any structures within the crown spread of trees. Any such works could impair a tree's health and make it unsafe. We recommend that you take advice from an expert before considering such actions.