Tree Preservation Orders

Getting permission to work on a protected tree

In the majority of cases you need written permission from us before undertaking any works to protected trees.

Using a reputable tree surgeon

You may find it helpful to consult a suitably qualified tree surgeon to clarify what works are required and whether permission is needed.

It is important that you only use a reputable tree surgeon to do works on your private trees. The Arboricultural Association provides a list of tree surgeons that work in the area.

Applying for permission to work on a protected tree

You can apply for permission to work on a protected tree online via the Planning Portal website.

We aim to assess your application and issue a decision notice within a specific period of time;

  • If you have applied for works to a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) - 8 weeks.
  • If you have submitted a notification of works to a tree protected by a Conservation Area (TCA) - 6 weeks.

Exemptions

You do not need permission from us if you are cutting down or cutting back a tree:

  • which is dying, dead, dangerous (give us at least five days notice)
  • in line with an obligation under an Act of Parliament
  • at the request of certain organisations specified in the TPO
  • which is directly in the way of development that is about to start for which detailed planning permission has been granted
  • when pruning fruit trees in a commercial orchard.
  • to prevent or control a legal nuisance (you may find it helpful to check with a solicitor).