Tree Preservation Orders – a brief guide

Many trees fall within designated conservation areas and some are specifically protected with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).  It is vital to check that you have permission to undertake maintenance work on a tree before you start a maintenance project.

A TPO is a written order made by the local planning authority which makes it an offence to carry out any work on a protected tree without the authority’s permission, except under very specific circumstances.  A TPO can cover a single specimen or all of the trees within a specified area.

TPOs were introduced to protect the treescape in urban and peri-urban areas and generally apply to trees with a high amenity value.


How to find out if your tree is covered under a TPO

This information is available from the tree officer at your local council.  You can ask your tree specialist to make enquiries for you.  


If your tree is covered under a TPO how do you apply for maintenance work to be completed?

The local planning authority will require an Application for Tree Works to be submitted for any trees covered under a TPO.  This is an official document available online through the government’s Planning Portal and requires a detailed specification of the work that will be carried out and reasons why the application is being made.  

Glendale’s top tip: we recommend consulting a tree specialist to clarify what work is needed and to get some support when supplying evidence for the Application for Tree Works.  It is also advisable to discuss the proposal on an informal basis with the local planning authority before completing the form as they may be able to offer guidance.


How to apply for maintenance work for trees in a conservation area

The local planning authority will still require written notice of any proposed work to trees that fall within a conservation area six weeks prior to any work commencing, even if they are not protected by a TPO.