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What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

If you’re like most people, you probably think of “tree preservation orders” as something that only applies to big, old trees. But that’s not the case at all! In fact, any tree can be protected by a TPO – no matter how small it is.

TPOs are an important tool for protecting our urban forest. They help ensure that new development doesn’t damage or destroy existing trees, and they also provide guidelines for how best to care for trees during construction.

What is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?

A tree preservation order (TPO) is an order made by a local planning authority in the United Kingdom to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands from injury or destruction. Trees subject to a TPO cannot be cut down, uprooted, topped, lopped, wilfully damaged or destroyed without prior permission from the local planning authority. In some cases, permission may be granted if it can be demonstrated that the works are necessary for the health and safety of people or properties, or for other compelling reasons. TPOs are designed to protect trees that make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of an area, and as such, they play an important role in ensuring that our towns and cities remain green and pleasant places to live.

How do you know if a tree is protected by a TPO?

A tree may be protected by a TPO if it meets certain criteria, such as being designated as an important landmark or having a circumference of more than three meters. If you think a tree may be protected, you can check with your local planning authority to see if there is a TPO in place. You can also look for signs of a TPO, such as wires or stakes around the tree, or a notice attached to the tree itself. If you do find a TPO, it is important to follow the restrictions in place to avoid violating the order. For example, you may need to get permission before carrying out any work on the tree, such as pruning or felling. By following the guidelines set out in a TPO, you can help to protect important trees and ensure that they will continue to thrive for years to come.

What are the consequences of violating a Tree Protection Order?

Violating a Tree Protection Order (TPO) is a serious matter that can result in an unlimited fine or even imprisonment. TPOs are put in place to protect trees that are an important part of the local ecosystem, and they help to ensure that these trees will be around for future generations to enjoy. When a TPO is violated, it not only puts the tree at risk but also jeopardizes the health of the surrounding ecosystem. In addition, violators may be subject to civil penalties, such as having to pay for the cost of replanting the tree or restoring the damaged ecosystem. So, before you decide to cut down that tree in your backyard, make sure you check for a TPO—it just might save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

How can you apply for a Tree Protection Order for your own property?

If you have trees on your property that you would like to protect, you can apply for a Tree Protection Order (TPO). TPOs are designed to safeguard trees that have significant scientific, historic, or aesthetic value. In order to apply for a TPO, you will need to submit an application to your local planning authority. The application must include a statement of the tree’s value, as well as photographs and maps showing its location. Once the application has been received, the planning authority will carry out an assessment to determine whether or not the tree meets the criteria for protection. If the tree is approved for protection, a TPO will be issued. TPOs are enforceable by law, and violators may be subject to fines or other penalties. As such, they provide an effective way to ensure that important trees are preserved for future generations.

What happens if someone wants to chop down a protected tree on your property without your consent?

If someone wants to chop down a protected tree on your property without your consent, they will need to apply for a felling licence from the local authority. The application will be assessed by an arborist, who will decide whether the tree meets the criteria for felling. If the tree does not meet the criteria, the application will be refused and the tree will be protected. However, if the tree is found to be dangerous or poses a risk to property, the local authority may grant a felling licence. In this case, the tree will be chopped down and removed from your property.

Are there any exceptions to the rules governing Tree Protection Orders in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) are put in place to ensure that trees of notable size and age are protected from being felled or otherwise harmed. However, there are a few exceptions to the rules governing TPOs. For example, if a tree is causing damage to property or poses a safety hazard, it may be removed without needing to obtain permission from the local authority. In addition, if a tree is dying or has already died, it can be removed without a TPO. Lastly, if a tree is located on land that is being developed, it may be subject to removal as part of the planning process. As such, while TPOs provide significant protection for trees in the UK, there are a few situations in which they do not apply.


In the UK, tree preservation orders (TPOs) are put in place to protect certain trees, groups of trees, or woodlands from being chopped down without the consent of the local planning authority. There are a few things you need to know about TPOs if you have trees on your property or are thinking about chopping down a protected tree. First, you need to be able to identify whether or not a tree is protected by a TPO. Second, there are consequences for violating a TPO, which can include hefty fines. Finally, there are some exceptions to the rules governing TPOs in the UK that you should be aware of before taking any action with respect to a protected tree on your property.

If you need any further advice about a tree protection order in your local area, contact WGS Tree Services for a friendly chat and free advice.

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