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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Advice for tree owners

Procedures for tree owners

Land owners are responsible for the maintenance and safe-keeping of all trees growing on their land.

We advise never to employ anyone who comes knocking at your door offering to prune trees.

If you would like someone to carry out work on any of your trees you should employ a qualified tree contractor. They should be skilled in tree work and have adequate public liability insurance. In addition, the tree contractor you employ should be fully conversant with British Standard for Tree Work. Tree work can be dangerous and all work should be done taking into account the Health and Safety at Work Act.

We have produced a list of Tree Care Specialists available to download.

Before you undertake or authorise any tree work contact the Countryside Officer on 01200 414505 to establish if your trees are:

Tree Inspections

A tree inspection may need to take place to establish whether your trees are:

  • safe or dangerous
  • healthy or unhealthy
  • in need of tree surgery/pruning

Tree inspections should be made by a qulified tree contractor at ground level. If, however, abnormal features indicating ill-health or the presence of problems are found, a detailed inspection may be necessary by climbing the tree.

You are advised not to undertake any tree work yourself because height and the use of cutting tools make tree work extremely dangerous. You are therefore advised to only employ qualified/experienced/fully insured professional tree contractors to carry out any form of tree work.

We suggest these rules:

  • If you have to get on a ladder the tree is too large for you to prune.
  • If the branch is over 2" in diameter do not attempt to prune it yourself.
  • Never use a chainsaw.
  • Do not attempt to carry out tree work near power lines.
  • Stay away from storm damaged trees.

Recognise your limitations and the limitations of any equipment available to you - remember seek professional advice and only employ qualified/experienced/fully insured professional tree contractors. The Countryside Officer can supply you with a list of local tree contractors and arboriculturalists.


Grants are available towards the cost of tree inspections, tree surgery and pruning as well as replacement planting.

For further details please contact:

Countryside officer planning@ribblevalley.gov.uk or telephone 01200 414505


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