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Trees FAQs

Do I need consent from you to fell trees in my garden?

Only if they are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), are within a Conservation Area, or there is a condition of planning consent relating to the trees. If you are a tenant, and not the owner of the trees, you may need consent from the owner.

Do I need consent to fell trees on my land, where it is not part of the garden?

Again, you must check if it is protected by a TPO, is located in a Conservation Area, or if the trees are large enough to require a Felling Licence from the Forestry Authority.

Do you take responsibility for looking after all TPO trees?

No. At all times the tree owner remains responsible for the trees, their condition, and any damage that they cause.

Who can carry out work to protected trees?

Anyone can apply to carry out work to protected trees. It is not necessary to have any legal interest in the land upon which the trees stand. However, it is always best to consult the tree owner because, regardless of the decision made by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), it may still be necessary to obtain permission from the owner.

Do I need permission to cut my tree down if it is dead or dangerous?

The removal of dead trees or dead branches from a live tree does not require permission, even if it is protected. Where a protected tree is immediately dangerous, the minimum work necessary to make it safe can be carried out. However, considerable caution should be exercised when deciding if the tree fits into this category. Under this exception, all other work to make a tree safe requires five days' written notice to be served upon the LPA, notifying the details of the proposed work. The burden of proof always remains with the person carrying out work to the tree, or arranging for the work to be done, to be able to justify any such action.

What if my TPO tree work application is refused?

Should the LPA refuse an application, it will explain the reasons why and also describe what work (if any) will be acceptable in a new application. The applicant can then decide whether to submit a new application, or appeal against the refusal to the Secretary of State.

Is compensation payable for loss or damage arising from a refusal of permission to carry out works, or the imposition of conditions?

Compensation may be payable under certain circumstances, dependent on the date that the order was served.

Can I ask for a TPO to be placed on a tree?

Yes, but we have to ensure that serving a TPO is justified in the interests of public amenity and that there is a realistic possibility of trees being damaged or removed.

Guidance on tree preservation procedures

For further guidance about tree preservation procedures for tree owners, the general public and amenity groups, read GOV.UK web page and leaflet Protected Trees: A guide to tree preservation procedures.