Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

The city council has the legislative powers to make a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect single trees, and groups of trees including woodlands.

Once a tree is protected, it's an offence, subject to certain exceptions, to cut down, lop, top, uproot, wilfully damage and/or destroy a tree without first seeking the permission of the city council. Causing or permitting unauthorised work is also an offence.

Anyone who undertakes works to a protected tree without the consent of the city council could be committing a criminal offence and liable, if convicted of a fine of up to £20,000 in a Magistrates Court or in serious cases an unlimited fine if convicted by the Crown Court.


Protecting trees - A guide to tree preservation procedures

The council has produced a protected trees leaflet (PDF, 52.2 KB)​. It explains what Tree Preservation Orders are, how and why they are made, and how to apply to carry out works on a protected tree.

How do I see if a tree is protected?

Contact us to find out if a tree is protected. If you're buying a house, the personal search by your solicitor should reveal any protected trees. It may not tell you of any protected trees in neighbouring properties. If you're unsure, contact us, or your solicitor.

Undertaking work on a tree with a tree preservation order

In most circumstances an application must be made to the us before any works can be carried out on a protected tree. There is no cost for applying for works. The council has up to 8 weeks to make a decision but the decision is often made much sooner.

For certain works you do not need to apply to us for consent. This includes removing dead trees, removing dead branches from trees and works to dangerous trees. If you're unsure about whether the works need our consent  you should contact us first.

Trees in conservation areas

All trees within conservation areas with a trunk diameter of more than 7.5cm measured 1.5 metres from the ground are protected. Anyone wishing to undertake work on one of these trees must notify the Council who then must decide whether the tree should be given a TPO within six weeks of receiving notification. Please use the form below to notify us of any works to trees in a conservation area.


How to apply

Printable Application Form (PDF, 497.4 KB)

Apply online

Guidance Notes (PDF, 101.4 KB)

If you've any questions or require any further assistance please contact us.