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Apply for a permit to prune council trees

Under certain circumstances, Cambridge City Council will consider applications from private owners to alleviate tree related problems caused by the trees we own.

Permission will be granted providing:

  • the applicant funds the works
  • the works are agreed with the council beforehand
  • a suitable Arboricultural Association ARB Approved tree contractor is appointed

Each case will be considered on its individual merits and if approved a ‘permit to work’ will be issued.

What you will need for your application

In the form, you will be asked for a description of the issue, and how you would like to see it resolved.

You will also need to provide information to help us identify the tree, including:

  • Species of tree if known
  • Description of tree
  • Location of tree
  • Location plan – this doesn't need to be to scale. It can just be a representation of the site, showing the approximate position of the tree/s and in relation to other notable trees or fixed features

If we approve works, these will usually be limited to minor pruning. We'll ask for an exact specification to ensure there is no confusion about what is being requested - your tree contractor may be able to help you with this.

We'll also ask that if possible, you provide photographs with a description of the proposed works. These can be useful in identifying works that are difficult to describe.

How to submit an application

The online form below will help you provide all the necessary information.  It is not compulsory to use it but it will help us to process the notice quickly and efficiently.

Apply for a permit to work on council owned tree

To complete this form, you'll be directed to our customer portal where you'll be able to track the progress of your submission. If  you don't have a 'My Cambridge' account yet, you can register easily using an email address, or with your Microsoft, Facebook or Google account.

What happens next

A tree officer will assess your application. If your application is unsuccessful you will receive a notification of refusal.

If the officer has no objection to the works, the application will be hosted on our comment on our planned tree works page for public consultation for a period of 20 days. Our tree strategy explains the consultation process we go through before any work can begin.

If after the consultation the application is approved you will receive a permit for the work requested.

The permit will be conditional on the work being undertaken within one year by an Arboricultural Association ARB Approved tree contractor, and after we receive prior notification of the works start date.

Read more about your rights and responsibilities with regards to trees.