Trees FAQs

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

You will need consent if they are:

  • protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO);
  • within a Conservation Area and bigger than 75mm in diameter, at 1.5m above ground level;
  • 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?

You need consent if they are:

  • protected by a Tree Preservation Order;
  • located in a Conservation Area;
  • covered by the requirements for a Felling Licence from the Forestry Authority.

Do you take responsibility for looking after all TPO trees?

No. At all times the tree owner is 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. But, you should always consult the tree owner as it may still be necessary to get their permission. (Regardless of the decision made by the Local Planning Authority).

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 need permission, even if it has protection. If a protected tree is immediately dangerous, you can do the minimum work necessary to make it safe. You should use considerable caution when deciding if the tree is immediately dangerous. Under this exception, details of all other proposed work to make a tree safe will need five days' written notice submitted to the LPA. It is the duty of the person working on the tree, or the person arranging the work, to be able to prove it was necessary in order to avoid the risk of prosecution.

What if the LPA refuse my TPO tree work application?

If we refuse an application, we will explain the reasons why. We will 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?

The LPA is only liable to pay compensation in certain circumstances. There are strict criteria and limitations. Claims must within 12 months of the decision date. We cannot consider claims of less than £500.

Can I ask the LPA to place a TPO on a tree?

Yes. But we have to ensure that serving a TPO is justifiable in the interests of public amenity. Also, if there is a realistic possibility of the removal or damage to the trees. And, if so, whether that will have a negative impact upon the local environment and public amenity.

Guidance on tree preservation procedures

Read Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas on GOV.UK it explains the legislation governing Tree Preservation Orders and tree protection in conservation areas.

Last updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2022.