What is a Tree Preservation Order?

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tree with TPO
two tree surgeons with chainsaws planning to cutting a tree


A tree preservation order (TPO) is an order granted by local planning authorities for the longevity and conservation of specific trees. Trees with TPOs are protected by prohibiting: the cutting down of, topping, lopping, and uprooting; as well as, willingly causing any potential damage and/or destruction to these trees.

If you are somebody looking to carry out tree preservation order pruning, this means getting in contact with your local planning authority. Usually the county borough council or national park authorities if applicable.

In Wales getting permission for the felling of woodland trees falls to the responsibility of National Resources Wales (NRW). The responsibility falls to your local council or other authority if you with to work on a TOP in your garden, public open areas and orchards.



There are many reasons why a tree preservation order might be granted to a specific tree or area of woodland, The value of a tree is not something defined by law, but rather something to be carefully considered by local authorities and respected by any members of the public who wish to engage in tree preservation order pruning. Things that affect a tree or section of woodland’s amenity level include:

  • size of the tree;
  • age of the tree;
  • location and form of the tree;
  • cultural, historical or otherwise sentimental value of the tree;
  • Its contribution to – and relationship with – the landscape;
  • Its contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area.

Members of the public are able to request their local planning authority grant TPOs to certain trees or areas of woodland.


Tree surgeon pruning a tree.
two tree surgeons with chainsaws planning to cutting a tree


Tree protection orders do not necessarily prevent development around trees or areas of woodland with TPOs, although your local planning authority will take any TPOs into consideration, when potentially approving planning permission.

You don’t always need the planning authority’s permission for tree preservation order pruning if the tree is dead, dying or has dangerous limbs. Also you wont need permission if the tree preservation order pruning will prevent potential hazard to human life.

It is advised you should inform your local authority at least five days in advance of any tree preservation ordering pruning you are going to do. Otherwise you could be subject to fines and required to plant another tree.

If the local authority believes you have carried out unauthorized work. Circumstances under which you may not require permission from your local authority to perform tree preservation order pruning:

  • If Natural Resources Wales has already granted you a felling license (Wales);
  • Cutting down trees in conferment with a Natural Resources Wales grant scheme (Wales);
  • Felling or pruning a tree that is dead, dying, or dangerous and in a commercial orchard. As is expected as part of good gardening practice; – at the request of certain organizations outlined in the tree protection order; – in line with an obligation under an Act of Parliament.

If you are unsure whether or not you need permission it’s always best to contact your local planning authority.

tree with TPO
tree survey


Founded in 2015, Man Coed has the combined experience of over 60 conscientious staff and dedicated contractors. Making us a trusted source of tree surgeon experience and knowledge.

If you find yourself needing a tree with a tree preservation order pruning be it in your garden or on the grounds of your commercial space, you can count on Man Coed. Rest assured that, not only will your tree preservation order pruning be a success but, the waste material from the job will also be recycled into sustainable biomass fuels – helping our environment.