We protect trees by issuing Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). A TPO aims to protect trees that make a significant impact on their surroundings, for example, if they are a good example of their species or form an important feature within the local landscape.
A TPO can be made by the local planning authority in respect of a tree, group of trees or woodland including hedgerow trees but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. Members of the public may make a formal request for a TPO to be made.
The effect of a TPO is to make it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, willfully damage or willfully destroy a tree without our consent.
Anyone can suggest to us that a TPO is put on a tree. We will then decide if it is of enough visual importance to the general public to make a TPO.
You will be told in writing if we intend to make a tree on your land the subject of a TPO, and you have the right to object to the TPO being made.
Even once a TPO is in place, the owner is still responsible for the tree, rather than us. If anyone wants to prune any part of the tree or cut it down, however, they usually need to get our written permission first.
The Courts can impose heavy fines or even imprisonment if work is done without permission on a tree covered by a TPO.