Types of restriction
There are two categories of protection:
1) Tree preservation order
- we're legally obliged to preserve and protect trees and can make tree preservation orders (TPOs) on trees and woodlands to ensure their long-term future
- no work to trees subject to a TPO can be carried out without our written consent
- you must make an application for works to trees subject to a preservation order
2) Trees in a conservation area
- all trees in conservation areas are protected, except trees with trunks less than 7.5cm in diameter (measured 1.5m above the ground)
- you must make an application for works to trees in a conservation area
- we have six weeks to consider the proposed works and respond. No work can be carried out during this time.
You can check for Tree Preservations and Conservation areas online
Written consent should be obtained for any works to protected trees except for:
cutting down or cutting back a tree:
- which is dead or dangerous, or
where there is an obligation under an Act of Parliament, or
at the request of certain government departments or other organisations specified in the order, or
which is directly in the way of development that is about to start for which detailed planning permission has been granted, or
to prevent or control a nuisance in the legal sense (check first with a solicitor)
Making an application to carry out works to trees.
The most efficient way to submit an application is online:
- Through iApply. Once you have registered for the site, you can complete your application form, upload supporting documents and pay fees. You can track the progress of your application, and opt to be notified of any change in the applications status.
- Through the Planning Portal. Once you have registered for the site, you can complete your application form, buy site location plans, upload supporting documents and pay fees electronically.
- Alternatively, application forms can be downloaded from the Planning Portal.
- Guidance notes can be found at Types of planning application web page.
We don't assume liability for the trees by making a Tree Preservation Order. The owner remains responsible.
You can check if work on protected trees has been authorised by using Public Access.
To request the making of a Tree Preservation Order, write to us stating:
the location of the trees
why you think they're worthy of preservation
why you think they're under threat
The trees will then be assessed and you'll be told of the outcome.