A TPO is an order placed on trees and woods to protect them for the purpose of nature conservation. In the case of hedgerows, TPOS are placed on only trees but not necessarily the hedgerow. Though rare, TPOs are also placed on woodlands. That’s because TPOs are typically used to protect trees with high ‘nature conservation value’ or amenity in the urban and the semi-urban setups.
How Do TPOs Protect Trees & Woods?
Anyone carrying out management or removal of trees protected by a TPO order or trees found in a conservation area requires explicit permission from the local planning authority. Typically, the authorising body or entity is the local council.
If you work on a protected tree without seeking the permission of the local council, or the council does not grant permission, they have the right and ability to prosecute the offender, resulting in fines ranging between £2,500 and £20,000. It may be worth mentioning you may want to have a look at TechArb and the services they have to offer, including a BS5837 tree survey.
What Is The Process Of Getting TPO On A Wood Or Tree?
First and foremost, contact the local council and request to speak to the tree officer or the council member with the same mandate of a tree officer if you are interested in placing a TPO on a tree or wood.
Let the tree officer know why you feel the tree needs to be protected with a TPO. TPOS are mostly placed on trees deemed to be of importance to the locals or function as a local amenity.
You should keep in mind that making A TPO is a discretionary power. As such, local councils do not place TPOs on just any tree. That being said, if a TPO order is made, it is the council’s duty to enforce the order.
What Timescale Should I Expect?
A TPO can be modified within the first six months of its creation, resulting in its confirmation or termination. However, you cannot add more trees to the TPO during the first six months. The council’s only alternative is to create an entirely new TPO order to cater to more trees.
TPOs orders become permanent after six months from inception if the councils do not receive any objections. Thereafter, work applications must be submitted with the council before any work can legally be carried out on the tree.
Someone wants to cut down a TPO-protected tree – how can I protect the tree?
If someone wants to cut a tree with a TPO, they must apply to fell tree cutting before touching the tree. The application will mandate a consultation period. The consultation period accords you the perfect opportunity to object to the tree felling.
To achieve your desired results of protecting the tree, engage as many people as possible in the local community and encourage them to contact the council to object to any proposal regarding the removal of that tree.
A TPO-protected tree has been felled. Should the responsible party plant another tree?
Yes. If a landowner fells a tree protected by a TPO, it’s their responsibility to replace the tree. Additionally, if the tree dies, is dead, or poses some danger to the surroundings or the community, the landowner also has a duty to replace the tree.
Landowners should replace the tree with a tree:
- That’s appropriate in sizable trees and species
- In the same location
- As soon as they can
If the land is sold before the tree is replaced, the new landowner is responsible for replacing the tree.
In case of a tree replacement, the new tree is covered by the original TPO order regardless of its species. Furthermore, the council is mandated to update the TPO to cover any changes to the species and location of the tree.