Trees and woodlands

Looking after Edinburgh's trees

Trees and woodlands are a vital part of Edinburgh's landscape. They enhance 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 at:

[email protected]

For out of hours emergencies

0131 200 2000

Trees on privately owned land

Find out about tree preservation orders, trees in conservation areas and 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. 

Trees in the City is a set of policies with an action plan which we use to guide the management of our trees and woodlands 

Download Trees in the City action plan - PDF  
Download a summary of our policies - PDF

Schedule of works

When the Forestry Service inspects a city tree and finds it needs work, it raises a work order in one of the priority catagories

  • urgent - completed within 48 hours
  • high - withinn 28 days
  • medium - within 3 months 
  • low - within 12 months.

It marks trees that are to be

  • removed with a white cross
  • pruned 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.

Chalara ash dieback

Chalara ash dieback has spread very rapidly through the UK over the last few years and is now firmly established in Edinburgh.

Unfortunately there is no cure for the disease and although mature ash trees can live for a long time with Chalara, young trees are particularly vulnerable and can succumb to infection much more quickly. Where infected trees on council land are considered to pose a risk to persons or property corrective works and felling will be carried out.

In locations where infected trees do not pose any significant risks they will be left to decline naturally for the other benefits that deadwood provides to the environment. Further information and advice for landowners can be found on the Forest Research website

Heritage trees

Heritage trees are notable and exceptional, whether this is due to great age, size or historical and cultural significance. 

View Edinburgh's trees with a story

Valuing Edinburgh's Urban Trees

Valuing Edinburgh’s Urban Trees is a survey by Forest Research on the state of Edinburgh's urban trees in 2017. It examined the 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 Valuing Edinburgh's Urban Trees - PDF

Biodiversity action plan

Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2019 - 2021 - PDF