Solutions SK answer your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
As summer is upon us, getting out into our gardens and enjoying the extra sunlight is now a priority. For those of us with trees which take away that light, getting a team in to sort this out is important. Our expert team can do that, but we want to ensure you know the facts too.
Solutions SK’s Arboriculture Manager, Andrew Dawson, shares key information to help people understand more about Tree Preservation Orders.
Did you know…if you don’t follow the right process and damage a tree in your garden which has a TPO, you could be fined up to £20,000.
Read our guide below to keep you informed
- What is the purpose of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)?
- How do I find out if my tree is protected?
- What type of trees can be protected?
- How is a tree assessed as being suitable for a TPO?
- I have a protected tree in my garden and it’s blocking the light getting in. Can it be pruned or removed? If so who can do this?
- How do I apply to carry out works on a protected tree? And how long does it take?
- What happens if I carry out work on a protected tree without permission?
What is the purpose of a Tree Preservation Order (TPOs)?
Tree Preservation Orders are used to protect trees of a high amenity value or which have a significant impact on the environment.
How do I find out if my tree is protected?
Your Local Planning Authority (your local Council) will hold the information about all the protected trees in your area, so the best thing to do is to contact them in the first instance.
What type of trees can be protected?
All trees may be protected, from single trees to whole woodlands
How is a tree assessed as being suitable for a TPO?
Tree’s that can be protected must first be assessed by the local authority as being an important landscape feature, offering significant benefits to the general public.
Under Government guidance this assessment takes into account factors such as:
- A tree’s visibility to the public
- Its condition
- Age and remaining life-expectancy
- Its’ function within the landscape
- Its’ wildlife or historic value and ultimately its importance to the local environment.
Trees usually need to be under an immediate or foreseeable threat to warrant protection.
I have a protected tree in my garden and it’s blocking the light getting in. Can it be pruned or removed? If so who can do this?
Local authority consent is required before a protected tree may be pruned or removed. The application process takes approximately six weeks and can be quite time consuming. Solutions SK have experts who are specialised in completing this form to help take the stress away.
Suitable pruning depending on tree species and ability to recover should be applied for and work must be carried out by a contractor who can conform to British Standards 3998 such as our Trees and Arbs team
How do I apply to carry out works on a protected tree? And how long does it take?
Local authority planning departments provide application forms and have eight weeks from the date of receipt to make a decision.
What happens if I carry out work on a protected tree without permission?
Courts have powers to fine anyone breaches the tree regulations laid down in part 8 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This includes penalties for:
- Cutting down
- Willfully destroying or damaging protected trees
If you deliberately destroy a protected tree, or damage it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in the magistrates’ court. In determining the amount of the fine, the court will take account of any financial benefit arising from the offence. For other offences including working on the tree without permission you could be fined up to £2,500.
There is also a duty to replace any protected tree that has been removed illegally, the new tree being automatically protected by the original order.
For help with your Tree Preservation Orders, or any tree work, contact our team today on:
Tel: 0161 474 5584
Mob: 07800 618 021