Tree Maintenance Works

Ards and North Down Borough Council uses a proactive approach in the management of its tree stock. We engage an expert consultant to periodically carry out full inspection surveys for each of our sites, to assess the risk of significant harm from a tree or branch fall.

Upcoming Tree Maintenance Works

  • We are planning to commence works in Glen Lyon Park, Holywood from Monday 4th December 2023. (13 trees to be felled, 3 to be monolithed and 1 to be maintained eg crown clean / reduction height / reduction weight)
  • We are planning to commence works in Linear Park, Bangor from Monday 5th February 2024. (4 trees to be felled)
  • We are planning to commence works in Brice Park, Bangor from Monday 5th February 2024. (6 trees to be felled)

The works are for the purposes of good practice management, disease control and public safety; all trees are subject to an environmental assessment prior to being worked on which will prevent work happening that impacts our local flora and fauna.

The Council undertakes to replace trees in numbers in excess of those that need to be felled and has an annual tree-planting programme which sees many trees of both native and interesting unusual varieties planted over each Autumn/Winter season. For example, our STAND4TREES initiative aims to plant a tree for every person in the Borough, that is approximately 160,000 trees.

For more information on the councils STAND4TREES strategy please visit STAND4TREES | Ards and North Down Borough Council or email ANDparks@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently asked questions

Why are the trees surveyed?

All tree owners have a legal duty of care to make adequate provision to ensure the safe condition of their trees. Ards and North Down Borough Council, as owner and occupier of land, is required to consider the level of risk associated with a tree and whether it is reasonable to protect against that risk.

Tree inspections are carried out in line with industry standards. Tree inspection surveys collect essential tree attributes i.e. species, location, condition, etc and provide recommendations on required works. All inspections must be carried out by a professional tree inspector with a relevant Professional Tree Inspection Qualification.

Why does a tree need pruned or felled?

The most important reason to prune any kind of tree is to get rid of dead, diseased, or damaged branches. This helps keep people, pets, wildlife and property safe from any large limbs that could fall. Pruning also promotes the health of the tree, by preventing the spread of disease and ensuring the tree uses energy to grow only the branches that are healthy. In many cases pruning encourages flowering, fruiting, and growth of certain parts of a tree, contributing to a healthy canopy of foliage.

Why does pruning happen at this time of year? (Autumn/Winter)

During Autumn and Winter many trees are not actively growing and have entered a period of dormancy. Trees store their energy in the roots throughout dormancy and do not experience the same shock, compared to pruning in the growing season. Trees can also become stressed if too much leaf area is reduced while actively growing, because this is how trees make their energy. Completing works after leaf drop makes it easier to spot dead, diseased and crossing branches that should be pruned and the structure of the crown is more visible

Do we tell residents of up-and-coming work?

Yes, we provide information on our website advising of any extensive planned tree work within facilities owned or managed by Council. However, sometimes this is not always possible, particularly when urgent work is required.

What about the impact on wildlife if a tree is pruned or felled?

Council is committed to providing people with access to a well-managed, sustainable environment where wildlife can thrive. All trees are subject to an environmental assessment prior to being worked on which will prevent work happening that impacts our wildlife and fauna. Where it is safe to do so, trees are left as a standing monolith. A monolith is a means of mitigating the risk posed by large hazardous trees, without resorting to felling. Retaining trees as monoliths provides valuable habitat for the many species that are dependent on decaying wood and cavities. Pruning to remove dead, damaged or diseased limbs helps to keep the tree healthy, prolonging its life and the habitat it provides.

Do we replace the lost trees?

The Council undertakes to replace trees in numbers in excess of those that need to be felled and has an annual tree-planting programme which sees many trees of both native and interesting varieties planted over each Autumn/Winter season. For example, our STAND4TREES initiative aims to plant a tree for every person in the Borough, that is approximately 160,000 trees. Through planting season 2021-2022 in excess of 12,000 new trees were planting in the borough.

Why have a Tree & Woodland Strategy

The Council agreed a Tree & Woodland Strategy in 2021. This Strategy recognises the importance of trees, the many benefits they afford us and the increasingly important role they can play in mitigating the effects of climate change. The strategy is required to ensure the Council’s limited budget is focused on positive planting programmes and managing tree care and risks. The key aims of the strategy that guides the Council’s management of trees is:

1. Community Engagement: to actively engage and collaborate with the community and others in valuing trees as a vital community asset.

2. Tree Planting: to increase the native tree canopy within the Borough by planting more trees to ensure a healthy balanced tree population that positively responds to the impacts of climate change and urban expansion.

3. Managing Trees: to ensure good tree care, through sustainable management of the tree population and reducing risk.

To find out more about our Tree & Woodland Strategy please visit STAND4TREES | Ards and North Down Borough Council