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.

Due to Covid-19 and the effect this has had upon working procedures, the Tree Officer will be unable to carry out site visits in the majority of cases. For the foreseeable future, if making an application or notification for works to a protected tree please ensure that you or your agent provide clear photos of each tree, labelled  T.1, T.2 and so on, in order that they can be identified according to the list of works you wish to carry out and the matching numbered plan showing the location of each tree. This will enable the Council to provide you with a timely decision in line with the standard processing times.


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.


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).