Trees and woodlands

Looking after Edinburgh's trees

Trees and woodlands are a vital part of Edinburgh's landscape. They play an important role in enhancing the city's environment. We manage trees in

  • parks
  • open spaces
  • woodlands
  • along streets
  • road verges.

Trees on Council land

If you have an enquiry regarding trees or woodland on Council owned land, please contact the Forestry Service on details at the bottom of the page.

For out of hours emergencies

0131 200 2000

Trees on privately owned land

Find out about tree preservation orders, trees in conservation areas or more about trees on privately owned land.

Protecting trees and woodlands

We have a legal duty to protect trees in the city, and do this by issuing Tree Preservation Orders. 

You can download trees in the city, a set of policies with an action plan which will be used to guide the management of the Council's trees and woodlands below. 

Download Trees in the City action plan (PDF, 724 KB)  

Schedule of Works

When the Forestry Service carry out inspections of city trees, where a tree is found to require work, a work order is raised in one of the four priority catagories:

  • urgent
  • high
  • medium
  • low

Urgent orders will be completed within 48 hours. We aim to complete high priority works within 28 days, medium priority within 3 months and low priority within 12 months.

Trees that are due to be removed will be marked with a white cross. Trees which have been selected for pruning works may be marked with a white spot.

Dutch elm disease 

There are almost 15,000 elms trees in Edinburgh. They are slowly being attacked and killed by Dutch elm disease. To monitor the spread of this disease the city's elms trees are surveyed each summer. Trees marked with a yellow or orange cross have Dutch elm disease. Any trees showing signs of the disease are removed.

Heritage trees

Heritage trees are those which are notable and exceptional for a number of reasons, whether this is due to great age, size or historical and cultural significance. 

View Edinburgh's trees with a story

Woodland habitat action plan

Woodlands within the Edinburgh area are a valuable resource for people and wildlife. The Woodland Habitat Action Plan, part of the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan (2010-2015), details key objectives and actions to protect, enhance and expand woodlands in the city. 

Download woodland habitat action plan (PDF, 427KB)

Valuing Edinburgh's Urban Forest

Read more about a recent survey carried out by Forest Research on the current state of Edinburgh's urban trees. This survey examined what benefits Edinburgh's urban trees have on the people living here and used location, species health and size to calculate the scientific benefits provided by trees.

Download Edinburgh biodiversity action plan (PDF, 9MB)

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