About Tree Preservation Orders

A TPO can apply to any tree. It includes hedgerow trees safe for hedgerows themselves. It can as well apply to woodland, although it’s not common. TPOs are used for urban and semi-Urban environments in most cases. They also apply to trees with high conservation value.

Before we get into the main article you may also want to learn about or tree-related topics such as what a BS5837 tree survey can provide.

How Does a TPO Work in Protecting Woods and Trees?

A tree that is being protected by a TPO or is found in a conservation area means that anyone intending on working on it or uprooting the tree will be required to have written permission from the local authority. It mostly happens to be the local council.

If permission is not obtained prior and granted by the council, then any tampering with the tree could result in a heavy fine of not less than 20,000 pounds!

How do I obtain a TPO or wood or tree?

If you are looking forward to placing a TPO on a tree or wood then you must contact the local authority (the council) and ask to talk tree officer or the person in charge of the tree sector at the council who is mandated with that task.

Ensure to make them understand why the particular tree needs to be protected. Normally, a TPO is placed on a tree or wood that is seen as a local treasure.

Take note that the council can’t just go around placing a TPO on any given tree. Although, where a TPO is made, the council must come in and enforce the rule.

What is the duration?

Within six months, a TPO can be approved or revoked at any given moment. The timescale can also be changed during this time, but you cannot add more trees to the TPO. If any more trees need to be added, the council creates a new TPO.

The TPO becomes permanent if there are no objections received after six months. Before any work can be carried out legally, the application must be submitted to the council.

What should I do if someone wants to fell a tree that has an existing TPO and I want to protect it?

Any person that wishes to fall a tree and it is covered by a TPO must apply to the council. The application has a consultation period attached to it. You should take the opportunity to contact the council and submit an objection.

You should also consider involving the local community in the matter. Educate the community on the issue and encourage as many of them as possible to contact the council and object to the proposal to remove the tree.

Should another tree be planted if a tree with a TPO on it has been felled?

If a tree with TPO protection is felled, the responsibility to plant a replacement tree falls upon the landowner. The same applies if the tree has become dangerous, is dying, or is already dead.

The landowner is required to plant another tree that is;

-Of an appropriate species and an appropriate size
-At the same location
-As soon as they reasonably can

If the land is sold prior to the landowner replacing it, any new person that purchases the place should plant a replacement tree.

The tree that has been replaced is covered by the TPO that protected the previous tree, even when it is of a different species. The council should update the TPO to ensure it includes the changes to the location or a change in the species.