When to call a tree inspector

There are literally thousands of trees across the region which have a current Tree Preservation Order (TPO) against them. This has been put in place by local authority to protect a specific tree, or sometimes to protect an entire woodland area from any deliberate damage.

A TPO is a flexible and individual document that will protect a tree from felling, topping, lopping and uprooting, and indeed any other wilful damage. TPO’s are most reserved for individual trees rather than complete woodland areas, and often used in urban environments. This is relevant where a tree has a high ‘amenity’ or ‘nature’ conservation value.

If you have a tree that requires attention, and comes with a TPO, what do you do next?

If the tree becomes dangerous, or there is a requirement to remove the tree, permission from the local authority is essential. The TPO will be registered with them, and approval must be sought before any work is carried out. If you don’t, prosecution is a distinct possibility, and fines are substantial, sometimes as much as £20,000.

A TPO is very important for the protection of trees. Trees have with urban developments and the scaling of urban areas become an increasingly rare commodity, and we all have a duty to protect and preserve trees on our lands and in urban environments as much as we can, notwithstanding the need to protect our environment and reduce our carbon emissions

If you are not sure there is a TPO against a tree, what to do next

Every council has an Arboricultural Officer, and the local officer will be your first port of call. He/she can inform you if the tree has a TPO, and very often you may need to make an appointment with the officer to view the order in person.

What happens if a tree is causing a dangerous situation?

A tree inspection report is priority. Without this documentation from a qualified and experienced inspector, you won’t be able to apply to remove a tree legally. The inspector will carry out a professional analysis of the trees condition, and produce a report (arboricultural report) which is then submitted to the local authorities. The inspector will provide accurate advice on what work is required to make the area safe, whether that is the entire removal of a tree, or specific works to make the tree safe. In the vast amount of cases, a qualified tree inspection report will be accepted by the council’s officer, and approval will be gained to carry out that necessary work.

Photographic evidence is a sure way to inform the officer, so the inspector will produce photographic evidence where required. This supports the application ensures there are few delays in taking action. The owner of a tree must follow this procedure.

What if it is in a conservation area without a TPO?

The same rules apply for a tree located in a known conservation area, including the same degree of fines if you fail to follow the legal requirements for removing a tree. You can also use the same application forms from the local authority.

What if I am unsure of the procedure?

Our advice at Elite Trees is to call us. We are qualified and experienced to be able to give you exacting advice on what steps you can take. Following an inspection and successful application, we can also carry out the work needed, recommended and approved by the local authorities. We will always advise to call us in at the very beginning of the process, it saves you time and hassle.

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