About protected trees

Protected trees

Trees can be protected by either tree preservation orders or by being located within a conservation area.

A tree preservation order (TPO) generally makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the planning authority's permission. We have over 350 TPOs in force across the district. Some orders cover just one tree and others include hundreds of trees over large areas or whole woodlands.

There are over 20 conservation areas, in which all trees over 75mm diameter measured at 1.5m above ground level are protected.

Work on a protected tree

To work on a protected tree, please follow our guide to tree works.

Guidance for developers

We have produced a supplementary planning document called trees landscaping and development which provides helpful guidance to developers, applicants and other parties involved in the development process.

Ask for a tree to be protected

If you would like any trees to be protected, contact our arboricultural team giving details of the trees and the reasons why you think they should be protected.

We will make an assessment and decide whether the trees are suitable for inclusion in a tree preservation order.

Compensation for lost or damaged trees

Compensation may be payable if loss or damage occurs within 12 months of our decision to refuse consent or grant consent with conditions. However, the circumstances are limited. Find out more about compensation on legislation.gov.uk.

How are new TPOs established?

When we make an order, the owner of the tree and other interested parties will be written to enclosing a copy of the order. If anyone wishes to object or support the order a letter must be forwarded to us within the time period which will be stated on the letter. We will take any comments into account when deciding whether or not to confirm the order.

Once the order is confirmed, details will be sent out to interested parties.

Once the order is made the owner of the tree remains responsible for the condition and any damage that is caused and permission to work on any preserved tree must be applied for.

Check if someone has permission to work on a tree

If you are worried about a tree being worked on, contact our arboricultural team so we can check records to see if the tree in question has a protection order on it.

If the tree concerned is protected and permission to work on the tree hasn't been granted, we will investigate and stop the work being carried out until permission has been granted.