Tree preservation orders

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Advice on the restriction to works on trees that are covered by a Tree Preservation Order

What is a tree preservation order and what is its purpose?

A tree preservation order (TPO) protects trees which make a significant impact on their local surroundings. It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the council's planning authority's permission. This is particularly important where trees are in immediate danger.

What happens if I do works to a protected tree without consent?

Anyone who undertakes such work is guilty of an offence. Anyone found guilty of this offence is liable, if convicted in the Magistrates Court, to a fine of up to £20,000. In serious cases a person may be committed for trial in the Crown Court and, if convicted, is liable to an unlimited fine. In determining the amount of any fine for this offence, the court must have regard to any financial benefit, which has accrued, or is likely to accrue, in consequence of the offence.

How do I apply for consent to undertake works to a tree(s) covered by a tree preservation order?

If you wish to apply to do works to a tree covered by a TPO you will need to seek permission by completing an application form. You are advised to note carefully the guidance notes that accompany the application form.

There is currently no charge for a TPO application.

How can I find out if a tree is covered by a tree preservation order?

Please contact us at for further advice or on 01946 598421


The Department of Communities and Local Government has produced a guide to tree preservation procedures

Published: 24 July 2012 - 9:57am