Apart from some exceptional circumstances, you must apply for consent to work on trees subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) or in a conservation area.
In conservation areas, notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or up to 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees).
You have to give us six weeks notice before carrying out work on trees which are located in a conservation area but are not yet the subject of a tree preservation order. This gives us an opportunity to consider whether an order should be made to protect the trees.
- Making applications to carry out work on trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order
- Guidance on filling in the application form
- Tree felling: Getting permission tells you about getting a Forestry Commission felling licence
- Choosing a tree work contractor
Work on dangerous trees
A dangerous tree is one which is in such a poor condition that it may be about to collapse either in part or whole. It may not be hazardous depending upon where it grows. For example, a tree in a privately owned field is less potentially hazardous than one in a public park.
Tall trees, leaning trees and hollow trees are not necessarily dangerous.
For instance: leaning trees may have grown at an angle to chase the light, but there may be a problem if a previously vertical tree suddenly develops a lean; the strength of a hollow tree depends upon the percentage of healthy to unhealthy tissue.
The type and extent of defects determine whether a tree is dangerous.
You don't require consent to cut down a tree that is an imminent danger, or to remove branches to make it safe.
You should give us 5 days notice of your intention to remove the tree. The tree owner or person carrying out the work must provide evidence (photos or an arboricultural report) that prove it is dead or dangerous.
You will be sent confirmation whether you had sufficient justification to remove the tree or branches.
If there is insufficient evidence it could lead to prosecution.
If a tree requires emergency removal you can do this, but try to contact us first. Make sure we are given notice and evidence as soon as a possible after the works have been done.
If a tree is removed because it is dangerous you must plant a replacement tree.
There is no fee.
How to apply to work on trees
Download the form and send to us along with your supporting evidence
Clock Completing this form takes around 20 minutesDownload form
After you've applied
We will visit the site to assess your application.
Due to the large number of applications received, tree officers make multiple site visits in a day, and so are unable to make booked appointments. They will therefore enter your property to view the trees - your application is taken as an invitation to do so and the legislation permits this.
Conservation area notices: We have six weeks within which we can object to your proposals. This gives us the opportunity to protect trees of amenity value, which may be harmed by the proposed works.
Other ways to apply
You can submit an application on the national Planning Portal website. You must register with the site. Registration is free.