Council offers advice on trees and hedges before spring has sprung
With Spring just around the corner, Cheshire West and Chester Council is reminding residents that now is good time to prune trees and hedges, before the start of the bird nesting season.
Pruning removes dead and dying branches, allowing room for new growth and protecting your property and passers-by from damage.
It also deters pest and animal infestation and promotes the plant's natural shape and healthy growth.
Outside the borough's woodland areas, the Council oversees the management of 50,000 trees and 23 miles of hedges.
The Council's grounds maintenance teams started cutting back Council-owned hedges and trees in early September and will finish before 1 March.
During the Council's works programme, hedges which are on the public highway, in and around park areas and public footpaths are cut back to one growing seasons growth.
Sometimes weather conditions can affect this schedule, which is available on-line.
The Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: "Many trees in public spaces are maintained by the Council, this includes trees in public parks and open spaces and those within highway verges.
However, residents, landowners and farmers are responsible for trees and hedges on private land, particularly if they are overhanging and blocking the road or pavement.
"Our Tree officers recommend that cutting hedges and trees is avoided between March and August as that is the main breeding season for nesting birds.
"We'd like to remind people that now is a good time to prune because the lack of foliage makes it easier to see how the tree or hedge has grown and where it needs attention."
You should check whether or not the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), as works to cut overhanging branches may need special permission.
It is an offence under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 to intentionally take, damage or destroy the nest of any wildbird while it is in use or being built.
The council's website has a wide range of advice and guidance if you have a problem with trees that are not on council-owned land.
The council will investigate enquiries where a tree is causing an obstruction, is dead, dying or dangerous; damaging property or surfaces; or obscuring road, street signs or lighting columns.
The council is not able to prune or fell trees for reasons such as shade, leaf litter, TV reception, bird fouling or insect activity.
Residents can place hedge and tree clippings into their green waste bins if they have subscribed to the new service starting later month or they can take it to one of the borough's household waste recycling centres.
It could also be composted.
Larger stems, twigs and branches up to around 4cm in diameter can composted but should not be added immediately to your compose bin or heap.
If space is available, it is better to stockpile the clippings and allow them to rot before adding to your main compost.
More information about composting can be found on the Council's website