Check if you can work on a tree

If you want to work on a tree with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), you’ll need to get planning permission from us first.

It will take 8 weeks from when we get your application to decide if the work can go ahead.

You will also need to let us know if you want to work on a tree in a conservation area.

We will check if a tree in a conservation area should be protected by a TPO. This takes 6 weeks from when you contact us.

If we decide the tree should not have a TPO, your work can go ahead.

Applications and notifications are free of charge.

Find out if your tree has a TPO

You can read more about tree preservation orders and trees in a conservation area on GOV.UK.

If you're making a planning application, you don't need a separate application to do work on a tree. We will consider the work to the tree as part of that application.

If the tree does not have a TPO, and it is not in a conservation area, then you do not need to contact us.

However, if you want to work on a tree you do not own, you will need to contact the owner.

Read more about resolving neighbour disputes over trees and hedges on GOV.UK.

If a tree is dead or dangerous

If a protected tree, or a tree in a conservation area, is dead or poses imminent danger, you can work on it to make it safe.

You’ll need to contact us at least 5 days before you start any work.

We'll need photographs of the tree or trees, a location plan, and evidence that it is dead or poses an imminent danger. We'll consider your request and let you know if the work can be done.

Email your local area:

You can read more information about Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas on GOV.UK.

Read about high hedges and how to complain to the council on GOV.UK.

Protected hedgerows

Under the Hedgerow regulations 1997, it is against the law to remove most countryside hedgerows without permission. Read more about these regulations on GOV.UK.

When a tree is covered by a Tree Preservation Order it is an offence (unless exempt) to carry out work or to fell it without written consent. This can lead to prosecution and a fine and, in serious cases a criminal record. Where a tree is removed without consent there is usually a duty to plant another tree of an appropriate size and species in the same position as reasonably possible. The council can enforce this replanting by serving a Tree Replacement Notice.

Felling timber

If you are felling or selling quantities of timber you should also check with the Forestry Commission to find out if you need a felling licence. You can find out more about felling licences and how to apply for one on GOV.UK.