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Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas

You need our permission before you carry out any work if a tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on it. If the tree is in a Conservation Area and doesn't have a TPO on it, you must submit written notification of your intent to undertake works to the tree.

Unauthorised pruning or felling protected trees is a criminal offence that may lead to prosecution. Make sure you know what restrictions are on trees you plan to work on and how to apply for permission.

You can find which trees are protected by a TPO in the:

You can check if the tree is in a conservation area using our interactive map.

Tree Preservation Orders

To work on trees covered by a TPO, you should apply online using the Planning Portal. Alternatively, use the standard form to get our permission. You may find the guidance notes helpful.

The standard 8 week application process is free. For the Bournemouth area we also offer a 4 week fast track application for a fee.

Once a decision has been made, you'll receive a notice to confirm whether or not consent has been granted. You are given details of any conditions you have to follow. If you're unhappy with our decision you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Trees in conservation areas

If a tree is not covered by a TPO it is protected if it is in a conservation area and its stem is more than 7.5cm in diameter, when measured at 1.5m above ground level.

If you want to work on one of these trees you must give us six weeks notice in writing. You can use the standard form to do this. We consider your application, and, if we do not make a new TPO to protect the trees by the end of the six-week period, your work can go ahead. 

You can search and view existing and past applications and notifications for tree works.  

Work that doesn’t need consent

You don't need formal permission for felling a dead, dangerous tree or removing dead, dangerous limbs. As long as you only do what is necessary to make the tree safe. However you must give us 5 days written notice before you go ahead. If tree work is urgent for safety reasons please let us know about it as soon as possible.

You also don't need formal permission for pruning of a neighbour’s tree to prevent damage to your property. Up to a metre clearance between your property and the nearest foliage is normally alright. You will however need the owner’s permission if you wish to cut back beyond your boundary.

Lastly you do not need permission for pruning or felling which is necessary to carry out building work that has been approved under a planning application. The work must be directly related to the planning application and should ideally have been identified at application stage.

For a complete list of exceptions see the regulations section 14 for TPOs. Conservation Areas are covered in section 15.


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