Trees, Woodlands and Hedges

About Tree Protection

A Conifer Tree

About Tree Protection

Trees can be protected in three ways, by Tree Preservation Order (TPO), by being within a Conservation Area, or by conditions applied when a planning decision is made. Any tree can be protected, whether indigenous or foreign, evergreen or deciduous, young or veteran. TPOs afford trees a high level of protection because the authority must give consent to any proposal to fell or undertake any works to them.

Trees within a conservation area are protected as long as they meet the minimum size requirements.  They must have a trunk diameter of 7.5cm measured at 1.5 metres above the ground level.  If the trees in question measure this size or greater, then they are protected regardless of their species.  In cases where removal of trees is proposed, the size at which the protection becomes valid is increased to a trunk diameter of 10cm measured at 1.5 metres above ground level.

Planning restrictions exist on some sites prohibiting the removal or trees, other than through TPO and conservation area restrictions.  These are normally in place through conditions attached to planning applications and the tree in question would then be the subject of a planning condition requiring its retention and protection during building construction.

Please get in touch via the 'Contacts' tab above using the 'Send a Message to Service' if you want to find out more information about whether a tree is protected.  If the site in question has planning history it may take a while to ascertain what restrictions apply to tree(s) on the site. 

You can also search the online map by using your address or, if you know the TPO’s reference number, by searching the records you can then see a digital copy of it. The digitised TPOs are in PDF format and, once you have found a protected tree on the map, the TPO can be viewed by clicking on the ‘show TPO documents’ link.

Please note: Due to checking, plotting and uploading delays the maps cannot be considered instantly up-to-date: 

We will consider written requests to serve TPOs on trees.  You can send your request through via email using our 'Send a message to service' tab which is found via the 'Contact' tab above or in writing to the address which can also be found in the 'Contact' tab.

You will need to state why the TPO was needed (i.e. what threat are the trees under) and would need to provide the location (address) of the site in question and have some idea of the species of the tree.  This information is important, to enable us to assess the request. 

In order for a TPO to be successful the trees would have to meet certain criteria such as being of good quality and in good condition and should be of visual importance from public areas.

TPOs cannot be solely used to block development.  Furthermore a TPO is a legal document and must be correctly prepared and so can take some time.

Please note: trees already owned by the Council are not normally considered for protection and trees owned by the Crown cannot be protected unless they give their approval.

Up-to-date TPOs

TPOs can be amended at any time, even if they are quite old.  Trees can be felled and new ones planted to replace them, the TPOs online are updated regularly but there is always a short delay between the original being changed and the on-line copies being updated.  We cannot guarantee that the copies online are always exactly the same as the originals.

Endorsed copies of orders

If you obtain an endorsed copy of the order this will include a full photocopy of the order and any plan, plus a signed statement certifying that the copy was a full, correct and up-to-date copy at a given time and date.  The plan and text will often be of better quality than the image available on the internet. In the case of older plans which can be quite large, the plan will be copied at a scale which is appropriate – this is not always possible with internet copies. There is a charge of £30 (£25 + VAT) for each endorsed copy that you require.  Copies can be ordered either by telephone or email both accessed via the 'Contact' tab above.  However, copies will not be dispatched until payment has been received and payment can be taken over the telephone.