Protected Trees

Some trees in the borough are important, either because of their age or because of their prominence in the landscape. Where these trees are under threat, we can step in to provide legal protection by making a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

We also designate conservation areas for their cultural and heritage importance. In a conservation area, all trees with a trunk diameter greater than 7.5cm, when measured at 1.5m from ground level are protected.

Checking whether a tree is protected

To see whether a tree is protected, you can use our online mapping system. You can read our instructions on how to use this system.

Please note that the map is not a definitive statement of the existence/non-existence of a TPO. Contact us if you need a confirmation of a TPO.

Carrying out works to a protected tree

Before carrying out work to a protected tree, you will normally need seek permission by completing an application form. There is no fee for making the application.

You may find it helpful to use the additional information template provided to help ensure that we have all the information we need to validate your application. View an example of how to complete the form, so you can see the type of information we require.

Some works, such as removing a dead tree, or removing dead branches from a live tree do not require an application. However, you do need to advise us beforehand by emailing

Current applications can be found on the planning applications register to find out if an application to for work to a protected tree has been made.


It is a criminal offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage, or destroy a protected tree. The maximum fine in a Magistrate’s Court is £20,000 for each offence and in a Crown Court the fine is unlimited.

Further information

More information about the rules and regulations relating to protected trees, including exemptions and penalties, can be found in our tree advice and FAQs webpage.

Contact details

Natural Environment Team

Telephone: 01256 844844

Contact us

  • Contact us online
  • 01256 844844
  • Civic Offices
    London Road
    RG21 4AH
  • Opening hours
    Monday to Thursday
    8.30am to 5pm
    8.30am to 4.30pm