Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Trees are considered to be of high amenity value and can be protected in two ways, either by a preservation order on a particular tree or because it exists within a Conservation Area. For example, an individual sycamore tree at The Bungalow in Barney Lane is protected, and all of the trees, including those in the bordering hedgerows, are protected in Flaxton’s designated Conservation Area, which includes The Crofts.

It is an offence to prune or fell trees covered by a preservation order or within a Conservation Area without prior permission. Forms requesting this permission are available from the District Council’s Tree Officer.

What you should know?

What is a TPO?

A legal document, made and administered by the Local Planning Authority to protect and control works to, or the felling of amenity trees and woodlands.

What trees can be protected?

Any tree of any size and species (including coppice) which provides an amenity.

What does a TPO control?

Simply, any cutting operation, removal, uprooting, wilful damage or destruction.

How is a TPO made?

At the discretion of the Local Planning Authority who compile standard documentation including a specific schedule and plan for each order.

Who has to replace protected trees?

It is the duty of the owner of the land to plant replacement trees. This duty passes to new owners if ownership changes.

Basic Treework Terms

To help complete the application form, the following drawings illustrate basic treework terms.


Mainly undertaken to allow more light through the crown without altering the overall size and shape of the tree.  The removal of dead and diseased wood (clearing), followed by crossing and rubbing branches, should be carried out prior to thinning to the required density.

Diagram of Tree Crown Thinning


This may be carried out to increase the clearance between ground level and lower branches to:-

  • Allow access below the tree
  • To improve the view,
  • To allow adequate clearance above the road (17 ft minimum) or public footpath (8 ft minimum)
Diagram of Tree Crown Lifting


This drastic form of pruning, which is allowed in special circumstances only, on certain species of tree, may become necessary for the following reasons:

  • to reduce weight on potentially dangerous branches.
  • to balance a misshapen tree.
  • to prevent trees obstructing or damaging buildings and property,
  • to prevent interference with overhead cables

(Warning – must consult with the appropriate Electricity Board or telephone company prior to work near overhead cables)

Diagram of Tree Crown Reduction and Thinning


In cases where branches overhang gardens. buildings/ structures or neighbouring property. the complete removal of all branches that overhang is usually not acceptable

Diagram of Removal of Tree Overhang

The Application Process and Appeals

Once the application form has been received by the District Council a decision will usually be made within six weeks. The details will be advertised on the site and immediate neighbours notified. The Tree Officer will inspect the trees during a site visit and will take into account amenity and arboricultural considerations together with your reasons and any representations which have been received. The Tree Officer will make a recommendation to the Planning Committee to either grant or refuse the application.

You can obtain an application to perform tree works here:

Tree Works Application Form

If you are unhappy with the Decision Notice you may appeal to the Secretary of State. This process is free and forms can be obtained from:

Environment Appeals
Room 3A Eagle Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay

Link to Environment Appeals