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Doing work to trees on private property

​If you plan to do work on a tree on private land, check to see if you need our permission.

Please be aware that it is a criminal offence to carry out works to a tree within a conservation area (CA) or a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) without permission.

Tree preservation orders

  • If a tree is subject to a tree preservation order, you must get permission before doing any work to the tree or tree roots.

  • If you apply for permission, we will let you know our decision within eight weeks from validation date.

Trees in conservation areas

  • If the tree is in a conservation area, you may need to apply for permission to work on it.
  • How to check if a tree is protected
  • When you submit your tree notice, we aim to give our decision within six weeks from validation date.

If you are in a conservation area you need to apply at least six weeks in advance if you want to work on trees where one of the following applies:

  • Standalone trees: the stem diameter (measured from 1.5 metres above the ground) is more than 7.5 centimetres
  • A tree in a group: the stem diameter (measured from 1.5 metres above the ground) is more than 10 centimetres

During the six-week period we: 

  • can protect trees of value and may make a tree preservation order
  • may issue a letter of no objection
  • may allow the notification period to lapse - after this you can carry out the works you gave notice for, but no more.

Planting new trees

If there is no alternative to cutting down a tree, we urge you to plant a replacement tree to maintain tree canopy cover for amenity, shade, wildlife, reduce air pollution and mitigate climate emergency

How to prevent introducing and spreading harmful organisms

You should source plants responsibly from a domestic nursery. To make sure your tree is healthy and not infected by foreign pests or disease, you should buy a tree that is either:

  • UK-grown
  • imported and quarantined in for a minimum of one year in the UK before sale.
  • use natural regeneration

Find out about pests and diseases that affect trees.

Learn more about preventing the spread of harmful organisms (biosecurity).