Protected trees

Find out if a tree is protected under a tree preservation order (TPO) or in conservation area and apply for permission to carry out tree works.

Check if a tree is protected

You can use the protected trees map (external link) to identify individual protected trees and conservation areas.

By clicking on ‘visible layers’ you can switch particular categories on or off depending on your search criteria.

Please note, the information provided by the website is for general guidance only. Whilst every care has been taken in compilation of information, the Council cannot guarantee its accuracy and will not be liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of using the map.

Ways trees can be protected

Trees may be protected under planning law in three ways. You must not carry out work on a protected tree without obtaining the correct permissions.

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

A tree preservation order (TPO) is issued by the council to prevent important trees from being removed or pruned without formal permission. Generally, the trees must be under threat or considered important. We can protect individual trees or trees in groups, defined areas or woodlands.

In a conservation area

A conservation area is an areas of special architectural or historic interest, that it is desirable to preserve and enhance. These areas are identified by the Council.

For trees protected in this way, six weeks notice is required if they have a stem over 75mm in diameter and are measured at 1.5 metres above ground level.

Subject to a restrictive planning condition

A tree may be protected due to planning permission. If you are unsure, please contact us by email (link sends email).

Apply to carry out work on a protected tree

To apply for consent to carry out work on a protected tree, you need to complete a tree works application form. You can do this online via the Planning Portal website or complete a paper version which you can download below.

Make an application on the Planning Portal website (external link)

Download an application for tree works on the Planning Portal website (external link)

View guidance on how to complete a tree works application on the Planning Portal website (external link)

After your application has been submitted

Upon receipt of your completed form, the Council has 56 days from formal validation in which to determine the application. Delays may occur when applications are unclear. For example, if details of requested works are vague, a site plan is muddled or missing or if there is a lack of sufficient information. Prior to a decision being made, a tree officer will inspect the tree(s) and may seek further information from the applicant.

If the tree is in a conservation area, the Council has three options when in receipt of notice to undertake work to a tree:

  • the Council can grant consent
  • allow the six week period to expire when the work can be carried out without consent
  • if the proposed work is considered unsuitable and the tree is of public amenity, the Council will make the tree(s) the subject of a Tree Preservation Order

Publishing your personal details

Tree works application are published on the Council's website via the planning application search tool. This will include your address. We will remove any name, signature, email address and telephone number before publishing. If you feel that your application or address should be kept confidential please email (link sends e-mail) before submitting an application.

View the progress of an application

You can search for a tree works application on the planning application search.

Carrying out work on a protected tree without permission

It is an offence to carry out any work to a protected tree or wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree, without the the Council's permission. This can result in a fine of up to £20,000 or an unlimited fine in a Crown court.

More information

There are a number of useful links below: 

You can also contact the Council with any questions by email (link sends email) or call 01276 707100.