A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is normally made by the Council to protect specific trees or a particular woodland from deliberate damage and destruction. They are designed to prevent the felling, lopping, topping, uprooting or otherwise wilful damaging of trees without the Council's consent.
TPOs can be made very quickly and in practice it is normal for a Council to make an emergency TPO in less than a day in cases of immediate danger to trees - although the trees need to be worthy and capable of protection. However, if the case is not urgent it will take longer.
View further information on TPOs on the Planning Portal website.
Trees that are within a conservation area are also protected and requires consent from the Council unless the:
- diameter of the tree does not exceed 75mm
- cutting down or uprooting of a tree whose diameter does not exceed 100mm and is for the sole purpose of improving the growth of other trees
In both instances the measurement is taken over the bark of the tree at 1.5m above ground level, however, these exemptions do not apply if the tree has more than one stem at a point of 1.5m above the ground level and if any stem when measured over it's bark at that point exceeds the relevant minimum size.
You can find out if a tree has a protection order by using our interactive map, select 'View additional information on the map' and tick the 'Tree Preservation Orders' option.
Applying for work to trees protected by TPO
If trees are protected, you need written permission to remove them, or to do any tree surgery. You can apply for permission on the Planning Portal website.
If you remove trees or do work to them without permission you could be prosecuted.