Tree preservation orders (TPO)

Tree preservation orders are made to protect certain trees because of their appeal, the special contribution they make to the landscape or local built environment, or because of their benefit to the appearance of a new development.

The council has the power to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Tree Preservation Orders make it an offence to top, lop, fell or uproot a protected tree without the council's permission. It also an offence to carry out such works to any tree in a Conservation Area without giving proper notice to the district council.

All types of trees can be protected including hedgerow trees if they have amenity value, but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. The order can cover anything from a single tree to large areas of woodland. You can search for any trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) using our constraints map.

Details of existing TPOs are also available for inspection at the Council Offices, London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4ER.

Orders dated before 1974 were made by Essex County Council and applications to carry out works to trees covered by pre 1974 orders will be determined by the the County Council. Contact details for the County Council arboricultural team can be found on the Essex County Council website trees and wildlife pages.

Where a tree is not protected by a TPO and it is under threat from works that are likely to cause it significant damage, you should contact the council as soon as possible. An assessment will then be made as to whether the tree is of significant enough value for a TPO to be served.

If you want to carry out works to a tree preservation order (TPO) you can apply via the Planning Portal or Applying to carry out work to a protected tree

Please note that when submitting applications for works to trees you must include photographs of the tree(s) that are the subject of the application.


Additional information

Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas on GOV.UK

The Town and Country Planning (Trees) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2008