Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

A TPO is made by a local planning authority (usually a local council) to protect specific trees or a particular area, group of trees or woodland from deliberate damage and destruction. It applies to trees at individual addresses and locations.

Different TPOs have different degrees of protection and can prevent the felling, lopping, topping, uprooting or otherwise wilful damaging of trees without the permission of the local planning authority.

The following works normally do not require permission under any TPO:

  1. Works approved by the Forestry Commission under a Felling Licence or other approved scheme.
  2. Felling or working on a dead or dangerous tree (please note the onus is on the person who authorises the work to prove that the tree was dead or dangerous - normally this requirement is fulfilled by obtaining a report by a qualified person made before the works are done).
  3. Where there is an obligation to maintain trees under an Act of Parliament (for example, to reduce the risk of harm to the public on a road or pathway).
  4. Works at the request of certain agencies or organisations which are specified in the Order.
  5. Works on trees to allow development of land for which detailed planning permission has been obtained
  6. Works to fruit trees cultivated in the course of a business for fruit production, as long as the tree work is in the interests of that business. Please note: Fruit trees are not automatically exempt unless they are actively being used for a business.
  7. Works to prevent or control a nuisance (for example under the ‘Right to Light’).

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