Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)
What is a tree preservation order?
As the Local Planning Authority we have powers to protect trees by making a tree preservation order (TPO). This makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by an order without our permission. If you carry out work to a protected tree without permission you could be subject to a heavy fine.
The felling of trees which are not subject to a TPO may still require a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission. Failure to fell under a proper licence is an offence subject to a penalty. For guidance visit www.gov.uk/guidance/report-suspected-illegal-tree-felling.
A TPO does not mean that we own the tree or are responsible for the cost of its maintenance. This remains the responsibility of the land owner.
Trees in conservation areas
Trees in conservation areas are also protected and in these cases, no works can be carried out to a tree which is over 7.5cm (3in) in diameter measured at 1.5m above ground level without notifying us. We will then have six weeks to decide whether to allow the work or make a TPO.
Find out if a tree is protected
You can complete an enquiry form to check whether a tree is protected by a TPO or in a conservation area. A sketch plan showing the location of the tree and photos are required to accurately identify the relevant tree(s). You should have these prepared before completing the form.
Applying for works to protected trees
The best way to apply for works to a protected tree is online through the Planning Portal where you can complete the relevant form and submit the required information. Alternatively you can download and print a PDF paper form and submit it by post.
As part of the application you must provide a sketch plan showing the location of the tree. There is no fee for making this application.
Request a copy of a TPO
If you require a copy of a tree preservation order please email Protected Trees with the tree location (address) and/or the TPO name and reference. A copy of the order will be emailed to you free of charge.
Dead, dying and dangerous trees
Before cutting down or carrying out other work on a dead tree where there is no immediate risk, you must give us five working days prior written notice. Email Protected Trees with the tree location (address), a sketch plan showing the location of the tree and a photograph of the tree.
Where a tree is dangerous and would cause an immediate risk of serious harm and work is urgently required to remove that risk please call 01293 438512.
To prune or remove a dying tree you must submit an application for consent. Please use the standard application form.