What is a tree preservation order?
A tree preservation order (TPO) is issued by the council to prevent visually important trees from being removed or pruned without the formal permission. Generally, the trees must be under threat or considered important. We can protect individual trees or trees in groups, defined areas or woodlands.
How to get permission to work on a preserved tree
To apply for permission to prune or fell a preserved tree you must complete the application for tree works form. We would always recommend that you apply online via the planning portal website. But you can also use the 'paper form chooser' on the planning portal site to download forms as pdf documents allowing you to print them out.
It is often helpful to get advice from a professional when completing the application form and to obtain a quote for the proposed work. You can download a directory of reputable tree contractors below.
There is currently no application fee.
What if I carry out works without permission?
A fine of up to £20,000 can be imposed for destroying or cutting down a protected tree without permission. The landowner will also be required to replace the tree.
A fine of up to £2,500 can be imposed for pruning a protected tree without permission.
What happens once your application has been decided?
Permission to prune or fell your trees will normally be subject to conditions, which will be included on the decision notice. It may be useful to contact a tree contractor once you receive your decision notice to ensure all the conditions will be complied with.
Should your application be refused you may appeal the decision. Information on how to make an appeal will be included with your decision notice.
If a tree is dead you don't need formal permission from the council to carry out pruning or felling work. However, if the tree is dying formal consent is required; where the tree is dangerous, only the necessary urgent works can be undertaken without consent.
Five days notice must be given to the council of any works to a tree that is either dead or dangerous.