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Council owned trees

Looking after our street trees

Street tree maintenance

Kingston Council manages 12,000 trees on streets, as well as trees in green spaces and housing estates. Each street tree is inspected once every three years.

Trees in an urban environment like ours need regular inspections and maintenance to ensure their long term health and to manage their size to minimise risk to the public and property. This includes pruning, watering and the management of pests.


Inspections are vital for good arboricultural management and allow early identification of issues that could cause a hazard to the tree, surrounding trees, the public or to property.

During 2019/20, 11,771 trees were inspected by the council’s qualified Contracts Officer.

Management of pests

Every Summer, surveys are carried out on all publicly owned oak trees in the borough to check for the presence of Oak Processionary Moth; an invasive species which has health implications to trees, humans and animals.

In 2019/20 310 inspections were carried out and 70 trees received treatment - manual removal of nests (up to a height of 4m) which ensures they are out of reach of humans and pets.

Cyclical pruning

To keep trees healthy they need regular pruning. Our street trees are pruned on a three year maintenance cycle which ensures that appropriate work is undertaken to every street tree in the borough.

In the year 2019/20 3058 trees were pruned.

Some species such as the London plane and lime require intensive and regular pruning. This is to keep them in reasonable condition, whilst controlling crown spread and minimising root activity.

Where street trees overhang your property, you may cut branches back to the boundary line (but no further) or report an overhanging tree to report an overhanging tree.

Tree management in numbers in 2019/20: 

Activity Number of trees
Trees inspected 11,771
Cyclical pruning 3058
Responsive work 205
Emergency work 108
Trees planted 856
Trees removed 166

Number of trees watered (10 visits each trip)

OPM inspections 310
OPM control 70

Pruning Schedule

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects wild birds from being disturbed during the nesting season (March to August). We are fully aware of this act and will not knowingly start work on a tree where birds are nesting.

The pruning schedule is divided up, ward by ward over a three year period. All wards have different issues when it comes to the size and species of trees in their streets. For example, it is very intensive pruning the large maple trees in St Mark's ward, or the lime trees in Grove ward. We divide the schedule so that the pruning of all street trees is spread over a three year period.

Cyclical works schedule by ward:

The cyclical maintenance programme ensures that every three years appropriate work is undertaken to every street tree. As part of the cyclical maintenance programme we work on approximately 4,000 street trees per year. This doesn't include responsive and emergency works.

Kingston Gate April 2023- March 2024
Coombe Hill April 2023- March 2024
New Malden Village April 2023- March 2024
Surbiton Hillt April 2023- March 2024
Tolworth April 2023- March 2024
King Georges and Sunray April 2023- March 2024
Tudor April 2024- March 2025
Canbury Gardens April 2024- March 2025
Kingston Town April 2024- March 2025
St Marks and Seething Wells April 2024- March 2025
Old Malden April 2024- March 2025
Hook and Chessington North April 2024- March 2025
Coombe Vale April 2025- March 2026
Norbiton April 2025- March 2026
Green Lane and St James April 2025- March 2026
Motspur Park and Old Malden East April 2025- March 2026
Alexandra April 2025- March 2026
Berrylands April 2025- March 2026
Chessington South and Malden Rushett April 2025- March 2026

Trees in parks and open spaces

Trees in parks and open spaces are inspected annually by our Environment Team, with pruning works carried out for health and safety reasons only.

Last Modified: 05/10/2023 12:22:21


Contact us about environment and waste issues.

Address: Guildhall 2
High Street
Kingston upon Thames

Telephone: 0208 547 5002