Storm Otto Yorkshire: How can I report fallen trees in strong winds in Leeds, York and Harrogate?

As parts of Yorkshire are issued with a yellow weather warning amid Storm Otto, it is important for you to know what to do if you encounter a fallen tree.
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Storm Otto has wreaked havoc, already affecting flights at Leeds Bradford Airport with Wizz Air flights from Wroclaw, Warsaw and Krakow being diverted to Liverpool. The A1 has also experienced major traffic delays due to two overturned HGVs; the incident has forced police to close sections of the carriageway.

Trains at Leeds station have been delayed or cancelled due to an object being blown over wires as a result of the storm. The high speeds of as high as 69mph means that large objects such as trees have been torn down and imposing danger onto pedestrians and motorists on the road.

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Various areas in Yorkshire including Leeds, York and Harrogate have been affected and issued with a yellow weather warning by the Met Office. It’s important to know how to report dangerous occurrences such as fallen trees to prevent fatal incidents.

Trees fallen in winds during a storm. (Pic credit: Kelvin Stuttard)Trees fallen in winds during a storm. (Pic credit: Kelvin Stuttard)
Trees fallen in winds during a storm. (Pic credit: Kelvin Stuttard)

How to report fallen trees during Storm Otto in Yorkshire

In Leeds, if a tree is causing an immediate danger to highway users, you must call the police on 999.

The Leeds City Council also provides a 24-hour emergency service; if a tree or branch is causing immediate danger to a person or property in a public place, call 0113 378 6002, the line is open from 8am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 3.30pm on Fridays. If the emergency is out of hours, call 0113 376 0499. You will need to provide: the exact location of the tree or branch and a contact name and telephone number. The council does not deal with trees on private land, unless it is causing an issue on publicly owned land.

City of York Council is responsible for public trees in York too and public trees may be in: parks and open spaces, communal areas or verges adjacent to highways. All publicly owned trees are protected by the Arboricultural Policy for York. You can report a concern with trees online on the council’s website if there is an identified health and safety issue.

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The issues that can be reported by the City of York Council are: fallen trees or broken, hanging branches causing a hazard, trees or branches causing an obstruction to a footpath, a dead or decayed tree, large dead or hanging branches, splits and tears in tree branches and stems, large decay cavities and fungus growing on or around trees, root lifting and ground movement around trees seen in windy conditions, workers digging under trees, cutting roots or damaging trees, residents lopping trees without known authorisation, damaged tree guards or vandalism to trees or swings, tree houses and ropes in trees.

You can only report trees in public land or those that may affect public land unless there is a risk to a nearby path or road.

In Harrogate, you will need to complete an online form on the Harrogate Borough Council’s website to report an issue with a tree located on council land or affecting a pavement, road or public space. The council undertakes a cyclical tree survey of all the trees located on public land. Any non-urgent issues will be picked up as part of that survey and therefore will not need to be reported.

You will receive an acknowledgement after you submit your report and the arboricultural team will review the details you have provided. If a visit/works are required, they will make an initial visit to the site within five to 10 working days and you will then be notified of the result of the visit.