rating button

Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, what you can do to protect yourself, support your community and guidance to assist employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

Works to protected trees

Trees can be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or fall within a Conservation Area.

If you're planning to carry out works to a protected tree you need to get permission. It's a criminal offence to prune, fell or damage a tree protected by a TPO or in a Conservation Area without giving us notice.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A TPO can protect a single tree, groups of trees, areas and woodlands but not hedges or shrubs.

Trees in Conservation Areas

Trees in Conservation Areas have special provision. To find out if your property or trees are in the Conservation Area view the:

You need to give six weeks’ notice if you are planning to carry out work to a tree in a Conservation Area; this is so that we can consider whether a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) should be made to protect the tree(s).

Some exemptions to applying for permission for works to protected trees and trees in Conservation Areas apply - please see below.

How to apply

You can make a standard or an enhanced application. We use the same application form for both however; additional detail is required with an enhanced application to help us make a quicker decision.

Standard applications

  • Return your completed application form and a plan to show the location of the tree(s)
  • We will issue an application reference number and decision date
  • Consultations are undertaken with various consultees
  • The application will be decided within 8 weeks (6 weeks for Conservation Area applications)

Enhanced applications (for a quicker decision)

  • Please return
    • your completed application form
    • a plan to scale
    • annotated photographs of the tree(s) from at least two view points
  • We will issue an application reference number and decision date.

Applications will be classified as major or minor:

  • Consultations are undertaken with various consultees for major applications
  • No consultations are made for minor applications
  • The target determination time for enhanced major applications is 4 weeks
  • The target determination time for enhanced minor applications is 5-10 days

Major works:

  • felling
  • crown reduction over 15%
  • crown thinning over 15%
  • pollarding
  • coppicing
  • removal of a single branch over 120mm in diameter at trunk meeting point
  • removal of multiple branches

Minor works:

  • crown reduction of 15% and under
  • crown thinning of 15% and under
  • removal of a single branch of or under 120mm in diameter at trunk meeting point

Replanting conditions

We may grant applications for works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order subject to certain conditions.

We may require that replacement planting details are submitted for approval. If this condition is on your application consent you will need to submit a replacement planting form and planting location plan. We will usually state a time by which this must be done.

Exemptions from giving notice of work to trees protected by a TPO and trees in Conservation Areas

You don't have to apply for permission/give notice if:

1. The tree has a diameter less than 75mm as measured at 1.5m above ground level (in the case of trees in a Conservation Area only. Some young trees and saplings are protected by TPOs).
2. If you have a felling licence granted by the Forestry Commission or a plan of operations approved by the Commission under one of its grant schemes.
3. Cutting or removing garden hedges.
4. Cutting or removing garden shrubs.
5. Work that's been approved in an approved planning scheme (see any relevant planning conditions or advice notes on the decision notice of the planning permission).
6. If the trees are dead or have become dangerous 5 days written notice is required (unless it has become so dangerous that it requires immediate action, in which case, notify us as soon as possible). It is strongly advised that you keep a record of the condition of the tree and the requirement to carry out the works, to include photographs if immediate action is taken. If you aren't sure if the condition of the tree means it is exempt please contact us before carrying out work on 01594 812331/812329.
7. Removing dead branches from a living tree(s).
8. exemptions for statutory undertakers – if you require more information on these please call 01594 812331.
9. Proposed works are to promote the growth of fruit on fruit trees for commercial use.


The District Council may prosecute offenders and fines of up to £20,000 for each tree may be imposed by the Magistrates Court in the event of offenders being convicted of an offence. If proceedings are instituted in the Crown Court fines are unlimited. There is a duty to replace any tree removed without permission.


  • 01594 810000