Tree preservation orders

Protected trees and Conservation Areas

Tree Preservation orders or TPOs were introduced to enable Local Planning authorities to protect important trees.TPOs can be placed on any tree that has amenity value. Trees that are exempt from TPOs are those that are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous and fruit trees grown for the commercial production of fruit.

TPOs prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without our consent. The maximum penalty for carrying out works to TPO trees without consent is £20,000.

For a guide to the law and best practice on Tree Preservation Orders see Tree Preservation Orders: a guide to the law and good practice.

Conservation Area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve. Trees often make an important contribution to the appearance of Conservation Areas, and so are given special protection. Permission is required for the pruning or felling of any tree within a Conservation Area greater than 7.5cm in diameter (as measured at 1.5m above ground level).

The penalties for unauthorised felling or lopping of trees in Conservation Areas are the same as for trees protected by TPO.

The Tree Management Unit are responsible for the management, inspection and maintenance of all council owned trees throughout the borough. 

Viewing existing Conservation Areas and protected trees online

You can view Conservation Areas and protected trees online using an interactive map. The following provides instructions of how to use the map:

  • You can search for an address by typing any part of an address or postcode. Choose the address you need from the search results.
  • Using the zoom controls to see the detail you need, click on the site location in the map window for the Tree Preservation Order or Conservation Area details.
  • The My House tab will also display the Conservation Area after searching for an address.
  • The “Reset” button will clear the address and map and using the same map link will let you start a new search.

Finding out if your tree is protected

Find out if the trees at a property are protected, check online using an interactive map - this includes the majority but if you're still unsure contact us.

How to protect a tree

We will only apply a Tree Preservation Order if it can be demonstrated that the tree is under threat. If this is the case and the tree looks healthy and stable, is visible from a public place and its removal would significantly harm the appearance of the area. To make an enquiry about protecting a trees(s), contact us.

We will then look at the tree to see if it qualifies for protection and advise you accordingly.

Work on a protected tree

Advice Service

The Planning Service offers an advice service in relation to works on protected trees (those that are protected by reason of Tree Preservation Orders or by their siting within a conservation area). Contact us for more information.

Works to Protected Trees
Level of advice provided Fee*

Site visit and brief written advice note.

 £120 (inc VAT)

*Advice in relation to sites containing five or more trees will attract a higher fee, details of which are available upon request from the Council.

Getting consent to carry out work on a protected tree

If you would like to apply to carry out works to trees covered by a Tree Preservation Orders, or give notice of an intention to carry out works to a tree in a Conservation Area then complete an application. Applications can be made online via the Planning Portal or by downloading the application forms and posting to the Planning service.

High Hedges 

Further information on high hedges.