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Tree preservation orders

Information on tree preservation orders, and how to apply to do work on a protected tree

Protected trees

A tree preservation order (TPO) protects trees under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

TPO's are usually made to preserve trees with landscape and amenity value under the following types:

  • individual tree
  • group
  • woodland
  • area

Once a TPO is made, it remains in place forever, unless we withdraw it. If a protected tree is felled or dies, it must be replaced. The replacement tree then becomes protected.

A TPO does not remove the usual responsibilities of a tree owner. However, you must:

  • apply for permission to carry out any works to a protected tree
  • give us eight weeks' notice before carrying out work
  • not start work until you have received our decision

If we give you consent to do the work, it must be completed within two years.

Check to see if a tree is protected

To see if there are any trees on your land protected by a TPO, you can use our interactive map below. When you’ve found the tree(s), you’ll be able to view the tree preservation order document in full.

Our map will also show any trees within a conservation area boundary. You must tell us about works to trees within a conservation area with a trunk diameter of 75mm or greater (measured at 1.5m above ground level). If your tree is in a conservation area, please visit our trees in conservation areas page to report this.

To find Tree preservation order in your area, just provide us with your address by following the link 'set your location'. You will then be able to find your nearest Tree preservation order.

Apply for permission

Once you’ve established that a tree is protected through using our map, you’ll need to apply for permission if you’re doing work to the tree. The easiest way to apply for permission, is through the Planning Portal.

To apply for permission to do work on a protected tree you'll need:

  • the location of the tree
  • to include a sketch plan giving the tree's location

Apply for permission

We strongly advise you to use the services of a qualified Arborist. This will ensure your application is dealt with as efficiently as possible, and avoid delays in the process.

If you're unable to apply online, you can download and send us a paper form. You can find planning forms (including tree application forms) on the Planning Portal website.

Work without consent

If you do work to a protected tree without permission, you could be prosecuted. The maximum fine in the Magistrates Court is £20,000 for each tree. You would also be asked to replace the tree you removed.

How to get a tree protected

For us to consider a new TPO the tree must be:

  • worthy of being protected
  • have a high amenity value
  • or, be under threat of removal

If you wish a tree to be considered for a TPO, please email us with:

  • the details and location of the tree
  • why it should be protected

Any requests received will be subject to the Freedom of Information legislation and therefore disclosed on request.  Any personal data, telephone number(s), email address and signature will be redacted before disclosure.

Tree surgeons

To find an accredited tree surgeon, please see our tree surgeon list.

Further information

If you require a copy of a TPO document, please email us, our contact details are below. Please include the reference number of the tree in your email, if you can.