Maintaining the land around your home

We are responsible and committed to keeping your neighbourhood safe, attractive, and well maintained.

Land we own

Our Grounds Maintenance Team maintains the land around your home. We:

  • cut and mow grass in public spaces
  • remove grass clippings from hard surfaces
  • prune or remove trees that are dangerous
  • prune or shape hedges and bushes
  • weed shrubs and hedges
  • plant flower beds

We do some of our work, like cutting grass, during the spring and summer only.

To contact the Grounds Maintenance Team, call 0191 525 5000 and select option 5 or email groundsmaintenquiries@

Tree management 

We have approximately 45,000 trees that we are responsible for. This includes trees on communal land, trees in customers’ gardens and plantation tree stock. We inspect every tree on our public land. After inspecting a tree, we attach a coloured tag with a unique number. The tags are colour coded to each area. This allows us to manage the tree and make sure it is healthy and well looked after. 

Gentoo tree assessments consider all aspects of a trees situation, including its necessity to wildlife and surrounding community value and not just the perspective of an individual household.

The following bullets are the main reasons we carry out tree work:

  • it has snapped or blown over
  • it is rocking (roots are damaged)
  • it is uprooted but held up by another tree or building
  • a large branch has broken off or is hanging off the tree
  • it or its branch is blocking the road, footpath or access to a property
  • it has fallen on to a structure, such as a building or a car
  • few leaves in summer or the progressive death of twigs, shoots, and branches from the tip downward
  • mushrooms or fungi growing on or near the tree
  • old splits and cracks in the trunk or large branches
  • smaller branches or twigs falling from the tree
  • dead, dying, diseased and dangerous

The below are reasons why we wouldn't carry out tree work:

Blocking light 

Where trees growing naturally within the environment are blocking light into a property there is no legal requirement for us to cut the trees. This includes light getting to solar panels, note solar PVs can use direct sunlight and atmospheric light. We will however take action if light is being blocked by the growth of a predominantly evergreen hedge.

Blocking TV and satellite reception 

We will not prune or remove trees that are causing poor TV or Satellite reception. In most cases relocating the aerial, satellite dish or having a booster will improve the reception significantly. Please note that Gentoo will not reimburse costs associated with relocating a TV aerial or Satellite dish.

Telephone wires and trees

We will not remove trees that are causing interference with telephone wires. Your telephone service provider may be able to suggest an alternative solution to the problem. However, wires can run through trees without causing any issues. Service providers will often install wires after a tree has been planted.

Leaves, flowers/seed pods, fruit, pollen and sap 

We will not remove trees due to leaves, flowers/seed pods, fruit, pollen of sap falling off the tree. Liability for the leaves, flowers/seed pods, fruit, pollen and sap falling into the properties does not lie with Gentoo as the owner of the trees as these are naturally occurring.

Bird droppings from trees

Gentoo will not prune or fell any tree for this occurrence. Bird droppings may be a seasonal nuisance but is not considered to be a sufficient reason to prune or remove a tree. Nesting Birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

You can read the full version of our Tree Management Policy (264kb).

Land owned by Sunderland City Council

We own some of the land in the area, and so do Sunderland City Council. The land Sunderland City Council own is their responsibility to maintain.

To find out more about Sunderland City Council's maintenance of trees visit: