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What is a Tree Preservation Order?

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) are common pieces of legislation in England. Here is everything you need to know about them, and how they could affect any work you carry out on your trees.

About TPO’s

First things first, what is a Tree Preservation Order? Well, it’s exactly what the name suggests: an order that is in place to preserve the wellbeing of the tree. The order will be made by a local planning authority in England, and it can cover specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands. If a TPO is in place, the following cannot be carried out without the written consent of the local planning authority:

  • cutting down
  • topping
  • lopping
  • uprooting
  • wilful damage
  • wilful destruction

It’s worth bearing in mind that even if consent is given, there may be certain conditions that have to be followed. Failure to do this will be in violation of the TPO. It’s your responsibility to check if any of the trees on your property have a TPO in place – and we always recommend that our clients do this before any work is carried out.

How Do You Get a Tree Preservation Order?

If you are wondering how to get a TPO, they are issued by a local planning authority which, in most cases, is the council. If you want to see a TPO put in place, you need to get in touch with your local council and ask to speak to the tree officer, or any person that shares the same level of authority. Be sure to tell them why you think the tree needs to be preserved, and if you think it is at risk. Making a TPO is entirely at the council’s discretion, but once one is in place they are duty bound to enforce it.

Is There a Punishment for Breaking Tree Preservation Orders?

Yes, you will face punishment if you are found to have broken a Tree Preservation Order. The maximum fine is £20,000, which would be for destroying a tree. If you do not completely destroy a tree but still carry out any of the works we mentioned without consent, you could be fined up to £2,500. Either way, you could be facing a hefty bill and a day in court – with all of the stress and scrutiny that entails.

Does it Affect The Work I Can Carry Out On a Tree?

Yes, but that doesn’t mean that you can never carry out work on trees with preservation orders. If you obtain permission from the relevant authority, you can carry out work that is in line with the conditions that they have set out. When you choose us to perform tree surgery on your premises, you can count on us to do so in full accordance with any TPO’s. We have a great deal of experience in this area, so you can hire us with total peace of mind.

What Next?

To find out more about a tree TPO and how we can work in full accordance with any that exist on your property, please get in touch today.

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