Trees and hedges guidance

Last updated: 2 November 2021

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a special form of control for trees on private property. TPOs are used to protect trees that are particularly attractive, are good examples of their species, contribute to the appearance and amenity of an area and/or have any cultural or historic value. TPOs are made by the council when trees are thought to be under threat of being cut down or damaged.

Types of TPOs

There are four types of TPOs:

Individually specified trees: An Individual TPO protects trees that have grown up individually and are largely unaffected by competition from nearby trees. These will be individually named and numbered represented as individual black circles on the TPO plan, for example: T1 Oak.

Groups of trees: A Group TPO protects trees that have grown up as part of a group of trees that have become co-dependent on one another affording each other mutual shelter. These will be represented as a broken black line on the TPO plan and the numbers of each different tree will be recorded, for example: G1 2 Oak and 1 Beech.

Trees specified by reference to an area: An Area TPO (commonly mis-named a 'blanket TPO') protects all the trees that are present within an area at the time the Order was made. Each area will be represented as a dotted black line on the TPO plan but the numbers and/or types of trees will not be recorded, for example: A1.

Woodlands: A Woodland TPO protects all trees within the defined area present and future; it is the woodland that is being protected, not specific trees. It is expected that in a woodland trees will decline and fall and others will grow up to replace them in a continuous self-perpetuating dynamic. Each woodland will be represented as a solid black line on the TPO plan, for example: W1.

Objecting to the making of a new TPO

When a TPO is made it takes immediate effect but remains provisional for up to 6 months. If you wish to object to the TPO you’ll need to submit a written objection to the council within 28 days of the TPO being made.

Any relevant written objections received within 6 weeks of the TPO being made will be considered when the council makes the decision whether or not to confirm the TPO with or without modification. Once confirmed the TPO takes permanent effect. If the TPO is not confirmed it will lapse.

You may not object to a TPO once it has been confirmed.

Types of trees covered by TPOs

Any species of tree, including fruit trees, can be protected by a TPO. Trees are assessed on things including health and stability, visibility from a public place and rarity/progeny. If the tree scores highly enough and is considered to be under threat it may be possible to make a TPO.

Finding out if trees on your property are protected by a TPO or conservation area

You can check if a tree or trees are protected here.

Requesting a tree be protected by a TPO

The council will only make a TPO if it can be demonstrated that the tree is worthy of protection, and is under threat of being felled.

You can request a tree be protected by contacting us:

Aylesbury Vale: [email protected]

Chiltern & South Bucks: [email protected]

Wycombe: trees.[email protected]