Trees and woodlands

Trees and woodlands are a vital part of Edinburgh's landscape. They enhance the city's environment. 

Trees on privately owned land

Private land is generally land which is not in the ownership of the Council. Find who owns land or property in Scotland with the Registers of Scotland's registers.

Trees on Council land

We manage trees in

  • parks
  • open spaces
  • woodlands
  • cemeteries
  • roadside verges and footways.

Contact the Forestry Service about the above at

For enquiries about trees within a council housing property contact the local housing officer.

For enquiries about trees within a school contact the school's business manager.

For out of hours emergencies

0131 200 2000

Protecting trees and woodlands

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 - within 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 several thousand elm trees in Edinburgh. They are slowly being attacked and killed by Dutch elm disease. To monitor the spread of this disease, we survey the city's elms 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 our land are considered to pose a risk to persons or property corrective works and felling will be carried out.

We are developing our ash dieback action plan.

City of Edinburgh Council ash dieback action plan

Scottish Forestry’s advice on ash dieback management 

Heritage trees

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

Valuing Edinburgh's Urban Trees

Valuing Edinburgh’s Urban Trees (PDF) 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.

Storm advice

Storms and high winds pose a risk to public safety, if there are issues of concern regarding trees, please report them to the Forestry Service immediately by calling

0131 311 7074

and emailing Forestry Service and copy to the Corporate Property Helpdesk.  For more information, go to the Council's severe weather page.

Biodiversity action plan

Edinburgh biodiversity action plan 2019 to 2021 (PDF)