Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are made by local authorities and make it an offence to cut down, prune, uproot or otherwise damage a tree.

TPOs can cover:

  • single trees
  • a group of trees
  • hedgerow trees

TPOs cannot be used for:

  • hedges, bushes or shrubs
  • protecting every tree in a neighbourhood
  • stopping approved building development or infrastructure improvements

When are TPOs applied?

TPOs are usually made if a tree is considered to be at risk or if a tree contributes significantly to the amenity of a local area. 

All potential TPO trees are assessed and must be in good condition to merit formal protection.

How can I find out if there’s a TPO on a tree?

View the TPO map

If you are planning to carry out any work to trees on your property and you are not sure if there is a TPO then you should contact us to check. 

The TPO process

If we decide to serve a TPO, the TPO will be served on the landowner and other interested parties. 

The TPO process begins with us putting a six month provisional TPO in place to protect a tree from immediate threat. When this happens, we would inform neighbours and interested parties, who then have at least 28 days to object.

If valid objections are received, the decision to confirm, modify or revoke the Provisional TPO will be made by the Planning Committee. If there are no valid objections to the TPO, it will be confirmed (i.e. made permanent) before the end of the provisional six month period.

Current provisional TPOs

What if there is an order on a tree?

If there is a TPO in place then you will need to get consent from us to carry out works. You can do this by submitting an application form. There are guidance notes available to help you with this form. 

Applying a TPO does not mean that we own or are in any way responsible for the TPO tree/s. TPO trees remain under the duty of care of the landowner.

Conservation areas

If you plan on carrying out works to trees in conservation areas, then you must notify us at least six weeks before starting the works. 

If you fail to comply with the requirements of both TPO and conservation area legislation, you can be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000 per tree. 

Find out more about conservation areas.

How to request a new TPO

You can request a new TPO for a tree or group of trees by completing our online form.

Before you make a request

Before making a request for a new TPO, you can:

Request a new TPO

Request a new Tree Preservation Order (TPO) online

After making a request

When we receive a request, we will check:

  • the tree's health, structural condition and longevity
  • the tree's public visibility
  • the tree's individual impact (local importance and other factors)
  • the tree's wider impact

Requests for new TPOs can take up to 12 weeks to be assessed, depending on the likelihood of tree-works taking place and the amenity value of the tree or trees. We will let you know our decision once a TPO assessment has taken place.

If we decide to serve a TPO, the TPO will be served on the landowner and other interested parties. The tree will have protection from this point and we will then follow the TPO process