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Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) protects individual trees and groups of trees for the public’s enjoyment. A TPO can apply to a single tree, a group of trees, a woodland or an area of trees. The tree or trees can be of any size, species or age.

The order makes it a criminal offence to cut down, uproot, prune, damage or destroy the tree or trees included in the TPO without the appropriate permissions.  If you wish to carry out works to any tree protected by a TPO you must submit an application to us.

Apply to carry out tree works

If you are unable to complete the application online, you can download a paper form:

There are no fees for TPO applications or notifications to carry out works to protected trees.

There are some very limited circumstances when there is no need to obtain consent from us, including:

  • the removal of dead branches from a living tree (if the work is likely to cause public concern, it is advisable to contact us first),
  • cutting down trees in accordance with one of the Forestry Commission's grant schemes, or where the Forestry Commission has granted a felling licence,
  • the removal of, or works to, dead or imminently dangerous trees (contact us in writing with details of the works at least five days beforehand).

To find out whether a tree is protected, or if you think a tree should be protected by a new TPO, email planning@cotswold.gov.uk. You can also check our register of protected trees.

You may need a felling licence from the Forestry Commission if you wish to fell more than five cubic metres in any calendar quarter. A licence is not needed if you are felling trees in a garden.

More information explaining the legislation governing TPOs and tree protection in conservation areas is available on the GOV.UK website  and at legislation.gov.uk.

Applying for a new Tree Preservation Order

If you think that a tree or trees should be protected by a new Tree Preservation Order:

  • check that it is not already protected by being located within a Conservation Area or that it is not already covered by a TPO
  • email your request to planning@cotswold.gov.uk or write to the Tree Officer. 

The tree needs to meet certain criteria, for example, high public visual amenity, visible from a public place, in reasonable condition, under threat.

Requests should include details of: 

  • the location of the tree
  • the reasons why you think it should be subject to a TPO
  • as many details about the tree or trees as possible, such as photographs and ownership details (if known)

A TPO is a legal document and takes time to prepare. It can rarely be prepared instantly, for example, for trees that are in the process of being felled.