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Apply for permission to work on a protected tree

Some trees are protected by tree preservation orders (TPOs) or because they are in a conservation area. TPOs are made to protect trees that contribute to the amenity of the area.

You need to apply for permission before any works are carried out to a protected tree including minor pruning.

If you wish to carry out works to a tree, contact the planning department of your local district or borough council who will tell you if the tree is protected by a TPO or located in a conservation area.

Find your local council

How to apply

You can apply for permission to carry out works to a protected tree through the Planning Portal. 

The first step is to download an application form and guidance notes.

Download application for tree works

When completing your application you will need to:

  • state clearly what work you propose to do
  • provide a sketch plan showing the location of the tree(s)
  • provide information or evidence to support your request

You can then submit your application online via the Planning Portal. You'll need to be registered to use this facility.

Submit your application online

If you are removing a tree, you may need to plant a replacement tree.

We advise any work to trees is done by a qualified and insured tree-work contractor.
A list of approved contractors is available from the Arboricultural Association

You can also look for tree-work contractors in the Yellow Pages or local trade directories.

Exemptions

You may not require permission to carry out works to a protected tree if:

  • the tree is dead
  • the tree is dangerous
  • works are necessary to implement an approved planning application
  • works are necessary to prevent or resolve a tree nuisance
  • works are in compliance with obligations under an Act of Parliament

It’s the responsibility of the person carrying out the works to prove that an exemption applies.

They will also need to give the Local Planning Authority notice in writing of at least 5 days before any work starts.

If you are unsure about exemptions, contact us:

Landscape Officer
Leicestershire County Council
Tel: 0116 305 7061

Fines

You could be liable to a fine if you

  • carry out work on a protected tree without permission
  • deliberately destroy a protected tree
  • damage a protected tree in a manner likely to destroy it

The Local Planning Authority is responsible for enforcing tree protection offences.

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