Trees and High Hedges

Tree Preservation Orders

What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

It is an order made by your local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy a tree without the local planning authority’s permission. The purpose of a Tree Preservation Order is to protect trees which have a significant impact on their local surroundings.

The purpose of a TPO is to protect trees which make an important contribution to their local surroundings, once we have carried out a detailed inspection of the tree and it is healthy, we then have to consider its amenity value, this generally means that the tree is visible from any public highway, and that its loss would be detrimental to the surrounding area.

If we decide to issue an order we will write to the owner of the tree and anyone who shares a common boundary enclosing a copy of the TPO. They then have a period of 28 days to make any objections which if relevant will be presented to committee before the order is confirmed, either with or without modifications.

Where there is an immediate threat to important trees or to an individual specimen, we can make a TPO to protect the tree(s), which comes into immediate effect and will continue for six months or until the TPO is confirmed, whichever is the sooner.

How can I find out if a tree is covered by an order, protected by a planning condition, or within a conservation area?

You can view all TPO's on a map or contact planning

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.

Tree felling licence: when you need to apply

What do I do if I want to prune or fell a protected tree?

Applications to work on protected trees must be made in writing.  

You can apply for consent online or download the application form. Only one copy of the application form is required.

Apply online >

How to report damage to a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order

To report works or damage to a protected tree please contact planning