Tree Preservation Orders

Unauthorised works to protected trees

What happens if I work on a protected tree without permission?

The courts have powers to fine anyone contravening a Tree Preservation Order. The maximum fine is £20,000 for destroying a tree and up to £2,500 for anyone who does not completely destroy a tree but has carried out some other works without consent. If the destruction of a tree is shown to be beneficial to a proposed development any fines are unlimited and are set at the discretion of the court.

You may have to plant another tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.

You will have to replant:

  • if you cut down or destroy a protected tree
  • if we give you permission to cut down a protected tree but make replanting a condition of its consent
  • if you have felled a tree in breach of a TPO, or because the tree was dead, dying or dangerous (and you didn't give us at least five days notice).

We have legal powers to ensure that you plant a replacement tree when required.

If I see work being carried out on a protected tree, how can I find out if they have permission?

You could:

  • ask the landowner or contractor carrying out the work to show you a letter or other document from us which grants them permission to work on the tree
  • use our ISIS online map information system to view the planning history

If you believe that the tree works are unauthorised you should report it to us:

  • by completing our online 'report a planning enforcement breach' form
  • by contacting us directly via phone or email

This will initiate an investigation by council officers.

If the works are ongoing you should contact us urgently - an officer may be able to attend quickly enough to prevent further work taking place.