Tree Preservation Orders and works to trees in a conservation area

This section covers:

  • What is a tree preservation order (TPO)?
  • What is the difference between a TPO and tree in a conservation areas?
  • How do I know if my tree is protected or in a conservation area?
  • How do I apply for consent?

What is a tree preservation order (TPO)?

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is put in place to preserve single or groups of trees which have acknowledged amenity value. This means that the trees are protected to maintain the natural beauty of a place or area. A TPO can also be put in place if the tree provides habitat to wildlife.

The following works to trees protected by TPOs are not permitted unless we are able to provide you with written consent:

  • cutting down
  • topping – removing all the top branches of a tree
  • lopping/pruning – removing branches 
  • uprooting – completely removing the tree and its roots
  • cutting the roots

Failure to follow the correct procedures may result in prosecution and a significant fine if it is considered that a tree (or trees) were pruned excessively or removed inappropriately without planning approval.

This protection applies to all parts of the tree above ground and below ground equally.

A reputable tree surgery contractor or independent tree consultant should advise you on what works may be appropriate and provide you with a quote if necessary. We recommend you seek a quote from at least two firms.

What is the difference between a TPO and tree in a conservation area?

TPOs relate solely to individual or groups of trees.

Conservation areas are designated for their special architectural or historic interest. They can be spread over wide areas, for example a whole village could be within a conservation area

Trees in conservation areas are protected as part of preserving the amenity value of the area, so even if the tree(s) isn’t protected by a TPO, you may need to apply for consent for your proposed works.

A tree can also be protected by a TPO and be within a conservation area.

If we provide you with written consent for the works you are proposing you must check the consent as it may have conditions attached to it, which will need to be followed.

How do I know if my tree is protected or in a conservation area?

You can check whether your tree(s) is protected by a TPO or if it is within a conservation area by using our interactive map.  Tree with TPOs are circled in green and the conservation areas are highlighted with a blue line.

Check out our guidance notes on how to navigate the map.

Applying for consent

We encourage you to submit your application online via planning application wales.

Start an online tree application  

If you would prefer you can also download an application form and send it to us at Planning Division, Penallta House, Tredomen Park, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed CF82 7PG.

Find and download paper forms

If you are not the owner of the property where the tree is you can still apply for Tree Works Consent – you will just need to get written consent from the property owner to send in with the application.