What Is A Tree Preservation Order?

A TPO or Tree Preservation Order can apply to any type of tree, including the hedgerow trees, excluding hedgerows themselves. TPOs can also be placed on woodland, but this is usually less common. TPOs are more frequently used for semi-urban and urban settings, and the trees with a high “nature conservation value” or high “amenity”.

How Do TPOs Protect Woods And Trees?

When woodland or trees are in conservation areas or are protected by TPOs, anyone that wishes to remove a tree or carry out any management work is required to obtain permission from local planning authorities (typically a local council).

If permission is not granted or sought from the council, they can prosecute and this can result in fines between £2,500 and £20,000!.

How To Get A TPO On Wood Or A Tree?

If you would like to place a TPO on wood or a tree, you need to first contact your local council and request to speak to a person that deals with these powers or a tree officer.

You need to ensure they are made aware as to why you think the tree or woodlands should be protected. In most cases, TPOs are typically placed on wood or tree that is classified as a “local amenity”.

Keep in mind though, TPOs are made at discretionary power, meaning the council can make the final decision on whether to place a TPO on a tree or not. However, once a TPO is made, the local council then has the duty to make sure it is enforced.

What Are The Timescales?

In the first 6 months of a TPO, it can either be terminated or confirmed at any stage. The TPO can also be changed or modified over this time, but more trees cannot be added during this time. If another tree is added, then a new TPO is usually created.

If after the 6 month period, no objections have been received, the TPO will become permanent. Any applications to carry out work should then be submitted to a council before work can legally commence. If you are looking to get a tree risk assessment done then see here.

What Happens When Someone Would Like To Fell A Tree That Is Already TPO Protected – What Are The Steps I Can Take To Protect It?

If someone is interested in felling a tree that has a TPO, they are required to submit applications to a council to carry out this work. These applications have consultation periods attached, this gives you an ample chance to submit an objection to your local council.

You can also get the community involved by encouraging people living in the area to also submit their objections to the council for the “proposed” removal of either the woodland or tree.

A Tree That Had A TPO Was Felled – Should A New Tree Be Planted In Its Place?

Yes. When a tree had TPO protection and was cut down, it becomes the duty of the landowner to plant a new tree. This also applies to trees that are dying, dead, or when the tree has become hazardous.

The owner of the land must plant a new tree:

  • Of the appropriate species and size
  • In the same location
  • As soon as she or he reasonably can

If the property was sold before a new tree was replanted, this duty will pass on to the new landowner.

Once a new tree has been planted, it will also be covered by the TPO (the original) regardless of what type of species it is. The council should update this TPO so that it covers any changes to either the species or the location.

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