Trees subject to tree preservation orders
Under planning law, trees may be protected in two ways – trees under preservation orders and trees in conservation areas.
A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a legal order made by local planning authorities to preserve important trees, groups of trees or woodlands. It is illegal to cut down, prune, or otherwise damage a tree protected by a TPO without the Council's consent.
Applications to undertake work to a tree subject to a TPO can be made online via the planning portal.
Upon receipt of your completed application form, the Council will endeavor to make a decision within 8 weeks of the registration date.
While consent from the council is needed to undertake work to a tree under a TPO, the owner of the tree is responsible for its maintenance. The owner of a tree is the owner of the land on which the majority of the stump/base is situated. If a tree is on the boundary of two properties the deeds to those properties should be referenced to establish the property boundaries. If the tree is on land of no apparent ownership, it may be necessary to consult the Land Registry, which is the government department that keeps records of land ownership, to determine who the land belongs to. You can access the Land Registry here.
It is an offence to carry out any work to a protected tree, destroy or willfully damage a protected tree including causing damage to the roots without permission from the Local Planning Authority (Slough Borough Council).
If you have any doubt about what permission you need, please contact us for advice before starting work.