Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) protect trees which have significant impact in the local landscape and are not specific to certain types of trees - any species of tree could be protected - nor is the application of a TPO limited to trees of a minimum size.

The principle effect of a Tree Preservation Order is to prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without the Local Authority's consent.

East Hampshire District Council has over 950 Tree Preservation Orders with new orders being made every month.

If you own or manage trees or woodland subject to a Tree Preservation Order you must make an application to the Local Authority before undertaking any works.

There are a number of exceptions from the need to apply:

  • Cutting down trees in accordance with one of the Forestry Commission’s grant schemes, or where the Commission has granted a Felling Licence
  • Cutting down or cutting back a tree which is dead or dangerous
  • In line with an obligation under an Act of Parliament
  • At the request of certain organisations specified in the TPO
  • In certain circumstances Local Planning Authority consent is not required if the work to the tree is required to implement a full planning permission. This will usually have been agreed during the planning process
  • In a commercial orchard, or pruning fruit trees in accordance with good horticultural practice 
  • To prevent or control a legal actionable nuisance.

It is advisable to check with the Local Authority if you think one of these exceptions apply.

Unless in an emergency, you must give at least five days written notice before cutting down a protected tree which is dead or imminently dangerous. This is in your interests, you could be prosecuted if the Local Authority thinks you may have carried out unauthorised work.

If a protected tree is deliberately destroyed, or damaged in such a way likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in the magistrates’ court. For other offences a fine of £2,500 could be applied.

You can see details of all TPOs and all Tree Applications received using our online map.

Tree Preservation Order requests

If you wish to request a tree(s) be made the subject of a Tree Preservation Order please send us:

  • Details of why you wish the tree(s) to be made the subject of an order (including what the potential threat to the tree(s) is)
  • A plan showing the position of the tree(s) so that we can be sure that we inspect the correct specimen. The plan does not need to be to scale, but should make clear the position of the tree(s).

You can either make a request online or post all the relevant information to; Maria Stewart, Arboricultural Officer, East Hampshire District Council, Petersfield, Hants, GU31 4EX.