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Tree Management Toolkit


Trees are a crucial element of the natural environment. They also provide a range of social and economic benefits, contributing to quality of life.

Housing providers are significant land owners and are responsible for a considerable amount of tree stock. Trees are an important consideration of on-going estate management, new developments and stock transfer.

Effective tree management depends on taking an informed strategic approach which recognises the asset value of trees in the housing landscape.

This web based toolkit is intended to provide advice and information to support registered housing providers to develop their tree strategies.

A wide range of information already exists on trees; this resource will provide signposts and links to this information where appropriate.

This toolkit recognises that it cannot reproduce or replace the skills and experience of trained and experienced tree professionals. It provides information on what those skills might be, when they should be used and where they can be found.

This resource has been developed by Neighbourhoods Green in partnership with the Greater London Authority. The ten sections of the toolkit can all be accessed through the links on the right-hand side of this page.

A working group made of social landlords and green space organisations have helped to inform the content.

With thanks to:

  • Circle Anglia
  • East End Homes
  • Helena Partnerships
  • LB Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Liverpool Housing Trust
  • Metropolitan Housing Group
  • Peabody
  • Places for People
  • Southern Housing Group
  • Tor Homes
  • Forestry Commission
  • London Wildlife Trust

If you are interested in getting involved or have a case study you would like to submit, please contact info@housing.org.uk.




Develop a tree strategy

This is the starting point which provides a framework for effective tree management. This section explains the role of a tree strategy and outlines the suggested content. The eight actions listed below will inform aspects of your tree strategy:

1. Understand your responsibility

This section outlines housing providers' legal responsibilities under Statute and Common Law. It provides links to requirements from the Health & Safety Executive and guidance on Tree Preservation Orders.

2. Manage risk

This highlights what hazards a risk assessment should identify and outlines how housing providers can take a reasonably practical approach to risk management.

3. Know the value of your tree stock

This section summarises the benefits of trees to support housing providers to make the case for investment in their tree resource. It identifies valuation tools that can be used to help to quantify benefits and links to appropriate information and case studies.

4. Involve residents

This section outlines the benefits of involving residents and offers practical suggestions to support residents in the planting, monitoring and management of tree stock.

5. Undertake a tree survey

This section outlines the purpose of undertaking a tree survey and what information should be gathered in the process. It also highlights the benefits of an integrated mapping system.

6. Have a policy in place

This section explains the role of a tree policy and outlines suggested content. It provides links to examples of tree policies developed by housing associations.

7. Set principles for design and planting

This section outlines practical considerations for ensuring the right trees are planted in the right place. It also provides information on applying for planning permission for new build developments.

8. Manage your tree stock

This section outlines how and when to carry out tree maintenance works and highlights best practice around contracting quality.

Useful links

Links to useful websites and publications.


Neighbourhoods Green is a national partnership supported by Design Council Cabe, Groundwork, the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the Landscape Institute, the National Housing Federation, Natural England, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Wildlife Trusts.
site last updated 02 March 2016
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