Tree management is always the responsibility of the tree owner. The principal effect of protection is to prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, lopping, trimming, wilful damage or destruction of the tree without the consent of the council; the cutting of roots also requires the council's consent. The different categories of protection afforded to trees entails different requirements:
If your tree is protected under a Tree Preservation Order you must obtain permission in writing from the council before commencing works, please complete the Tree Preservation Order. A site visit by an experienced tree officer to the site is likely to be undertaken to determine this. Please note - the council is under no obligation to approve works to protected trees - each case will be judged on their individual merits.
It is an Offence to carry out work without written permission.
If your trees is sited within a Conservation and Listed Buildings you must give the Council 6 weeks notice in writing, please complete the Online Form of the intended works. If no response is received from the council by the end of 6 weeks then it is deemed permitted to proceed. It is an Offence to carry out works within the notification period.
If the site is the subject of a wider Planning Permission that carries a condition to protect existing trees no works should take place that would endanger their continued, healthy survival. It is an Offence to undertake works in contravention of the conditions of a wider planning approval.
Where an offence is committed against a protected tree, prosecution and a fine of up to £20,000 may be the result and the requirement to replant tree or trees of a suitable size and species on the site.
The main exception to the requirements above is where the tree is dead or dangerous. In such cases you should notify us as soon as possible ideally no less than 5 days before the work commences so that the Council may take the opportunity to visit the site; we also recommend that you engage professional advice so that their report and relevant photographs makes the case for action taken under these exceptional circumstances.
The services of an experienced arboriculturalist in preparing a report to justify ANY significant works to a protected tree is strongly recommended.
A list of approved, specialist contractors is available at the end of this document in PDF form or can be downloaded from Chartered Foresters or by contacting us, using the email address provided.
The arboriculturalist will also be able to make recommendations as to suitable replacement species should, as is often required, the council seek a replanting scheme. A list of generally accepted tree species is also available in pdf form at the end of this document.
All approved tree work should be carried out in compliance with BS 3998 2010. Work should seek to avoid nesting seasons and/or destruction of habitats of any protected species such as birds, bats or of mammals such as water voles which may occupy root areas along water banks.