What is a tree preservation order (TPO)?
A TPO is a Tree Preservation Order which gives legal protection against deliberate damage or destruction of a single tree or blanket area of trees. This includes felling, uprooting, pruning etc. anybody that has work carried out on a tree with a TPO, without application to the council, is subject to legal action and a possible fine (between £2500 – £20000).
Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) are a piece of legislation that ensures protection of specific trees – usually, those that are endangered species, an important part of a local area or sit within a conservation area. TPOs are made by local planning authorities and can prevent trees from being uprooted, damaged, destructed or cut down. Major works carried out on trees with a TPO require written consent from the local authority.
TPOs can make it difficult for owners of these trees to carry out certain works. If you own a protected tree, you will not be allowed to carry out any of the prohibited activities without permission. However, you are still responsible for their maintenance and upkeep. The local authority will therefore encourage you to undertake good tree management, including regular pruning and health and safety checks.
Does my tree have a TPO?
A TPO can be applied to any type of tree or group of trees. However, it can’t be applied to smaller plants such as hedges, bushes or shrubs. If you think you own a tree that may be protected, you can get in touch with Professional Tree Solutions and we will be able to contact the local authority on your behalf.
Trees with TPOs
If you do have a tree with a TPO, you will need to apply to the local authority to carry out work. We can advise on what type of work will require an application to the local authority. Having worked with planning authorities of all kinds for many years, we are familiar with what extent of works they will allow and can advise you accordingly depending on the type, location and size of your tree. It is highly likely that your local authority will approve any works that will help to maintain and preserve the health of the tree, such as general pruning and crown reduction.
Fines for damage
TPOs can help prevent trees from unlawful damage, as anyone that knowingly vandalises a protected tree will be subject to a fine ranging between £2,500 and £20,000. However, this can mean you’d also be liable to pay for such a fine if you carried out works on your tree without valid consent. We will always check with our customers whether their tree has a TPO; however, it is your responsibility to make sure you have the appropriate consent.
Contact us today
It can feel daunting at first to know that you’re responsible for maintaining a protected tree. However, it’s really quite simple – you just need to help ensure the tree is protected and looked after. If you have a tree with a TPO that needs maintaining, give us a call and we’ll talk you through your options.