Trees and TPOs

The aim of tree preservation orders (TPOs) is to

  • prevent damage to trees
  • prevent the destruction of trees and
  • bring any authorised work on the trees under planning control.

Their objective is not to prevent all work, but to protect the amenity provided by the tree.

If correctly applied by the local planning authority (LPA) (mostly councils but also national parks), TPOs should not prove a restriction on tree management. However, there may be disagreements about what management is appropriate. There are rights of appeal against decisions on tree work applications taken by the LPA, and compensation for loss or damage due to refusal of consent or the imposition of conditions on any agreed work, as well as heavy penalties for contravention.

TPOs do not transfer any responsibility for tree management to the LPA, even after adverse tree work decisions. At all times, tree owners and occupiers of land remain responsible for the health and safety of their trees.

This section is maintained by Dr Jon Heuch of Duramen Consulting Ltd.