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Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)s

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by the local planning authority which makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without the planning authority’s permission.

The purpose of a Tree Preservation Order is to protect trees that make a significant impact on their local surroundings.

All types of trees can be covered by a Tree Preservation Order, including hedgerow trees, and it can cover anything from a single tree to woodlands.

The Department of Communities and Local Government have produced a leaflet called Protected Trees: A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures written for the benefit of tree owners, the general public and amenity groups, and answers some of the most common questions asked about tree preservation procedures. It is for guidance only and is not a statement of law.

Exceptional circumstances

There are certain circumstances where written permission from the Council may not be necessary before undertaking works.

These include;

  • Making a tree safe if it is an imminent threat to people or property
  • Removing dead wood, or a dead tree

If the owner is in any doubt on these matters they should check with the Council.

If you consider the work to be exempt you are still required to give 5 days notice to the local planning authority, although the forms should not be used but rather notice should be given by email or a written note. You should supply photographic evidence to support your view that the work is exempt.

This is required as a replacement tree is often a legal requirement.

Application for works to trees subject to a TPO
Guidance notes
View the location of TPOs in the Suffolk Coastal district using our online geographical information system (GIS)