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Managing your trees, including protected trees

Many trees are protected by law, most commonly by tree preservation orders and all trees in conservation areas. You need written permission from us before you can carry out any work on any protected tree.

To find out if a tree is protected contact us with the location of the tree.  To request a copy of a TPO please email us the address or TPO number if you have it and we will email you a copy.  There is no charge for this service.  Our contact details are here.

If you work on a protected tree without permission we may take a range of enforcement actions including prosecution, with fines of up to £20,000.

You can apply to do work on a tree on land that you do not own, but work cannot be carried out without the landowner’s consent to access their land.

You will have to pay for all works yourself.

Finding a tree surgeon or other arboricultural contractor

We can't make any endorsements but here is a useful list of local tree contractors and consultants from The Arboricultural Association.

High hedge complaints

If a high hedge is affecting your ability to enjoy your property there are several steps you need to take before the local authority can offer any help.  The government guidance Over the Garden Hedge outlines what you need to do.

If we do become involved we cannot mediate or negotiate for you. Our role in high hedge disputes is simply to look at whether the hedge is adversely affecting enjoyment of your property.

If it is, a formal notice may be issued to the hedge owner setting out what they must do to the hedge to remedy the problem, and when they must do it by. If they don’t, they could face a fine of up to £1,000.

There is a charge if we become involved of between £200 and £550.

The national rules under which you can make a complaint are strict, and so we advise that you read the guidance provided.

Apply for permission to work on a protected tree

You will need to submit your application on line using the planning portal.

Use the Planning Application option. Give it a title such as TPO and complete your address.  Planning Application type is at the bottom of the list.

For help using the portal please view this user guide.

We may attach conditions to your proposed works.

Appeal a refused request

If we refuse your request we'll tell you how you can appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government . If they allow your appeal they may vary our decision after appointing an independent expert to inspect the tree.