Caring for Our Heritage - Tree Preservation Orders

Trees form a vital part of the natural heritage of the British Isles and as such, are rightly protected by a number of means.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
When a tree is protected by a tree preservation order, no work may be carried out upon it unless the appropriate permissions have been granted. This involves submitting a detailed proposal, laying out exactly what is going to be done and by whom. There is no guarantee that the permission will be granted just because the form has been submitted, and the best way by far to get permission is to have the form filled in by an experienced, professional arborist. Councils apply TPOs where a tree may be under threat, of particular scientific or historic interest, or it can be seen from a public place and altering or removing it would materially affect the landscape.

If you are planning to carry out work on a tree that has a tree preservation order then it is absolutely necessary to get a tree survey done.? Usually the work that needs to be done on a TPO tree may consist of taking down a tree that is dying, or cutting down parts of a tree that are dead or significantly ageing.? A tree survey will be able to tell you and the council whether or not the tree should be taken down.

If a tree survey is not done then it is offence to work on a tree with a TPO and you can be heavily fined.

Conservation areas
Here it gets a little more involved. There can be trees inside a conservation area that do not have TPOs. To carry out work on these trees, the same paperwork must be submitted, but is more of a formality. However, if the tree in question is within a conservation area and it has a Tree Preservation Order in force, then you are especially in need of a tree survey to prove that the work absolutely needs to be done.

Highways Agency
The only exceptions to the above rules apply to the Highways Agency, who can reduce or remove trees that constitute a hazard on existing public thoroughfares.

There is help at hand

To help you with the paperwork, Boswell & Company will complete and submit the application to reduce or remove trees with TPOs in place on your behalf. By making a thorough survey of the tree before completing the necessary forms is a vital step. Only a thorough assessment of the tree's condition can offer an accurate guide to the treatment required. Having completed such a survey, the paperwork can be completed in an authoritative tone of voice, stating exactly what needs to be done. This can cut the time taken in assessing the application before appropriate action can be taken. See our tree surveys page for more details.

 
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