News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Ministry of Public Works would like to remind the public that trimming back overhanging trees and hedges from private property to prevent vegetation from projecting into the roadways or sidewalks is the property owner’s responsibility.

Overhanging trees and hedges can cause safety hazards to road users including obstructed visibility, injury to waste collection personnel, pedestrians, pedal-cyclists, and bike riders, as well as damage to bus and truck windscreens,” a spokesperson said. “The Highways Section cleaning teams make every effort to address reports of vegetation in the road posing a danger to road users. The Section also actively clears greenery and overhanging foliage from streets around the Island. Where government land is adjacent to the roadway, the road cleaning crew will also control those areas. However, when the overhanging vegetation is on private property, it is the responsibility of the adjoining landowner.

Vegetation needs to be kept clear of a public road at a height not less than 4.9 metres [16 feet and 1 inch] above the surface of the carriageway or 3 metres [9 feet 10 inches] above the surface of a pedestrian walkway or verge.

Where problems stemming from private property are received, property owners will be informally asked to trim back their vegetation. Failure to act on these requests may result in the Ministry exercising its legal authority to serve a statutory nuisance abatement notice on the homeowner. 

The Ministry of Public Works encourages the public’s full cooperation in promoting safer roads and a better environment by cutting back vegetation where their property borders public roads. This effort will also allow road cleaning teams to complete cleaning and maintenance responsibilities alongside Government-owned properties faster.