There are different ways in which trees can be protected. To know if a tree is protected means understanding the mechanism that protects it.
Tree Preservation Orders
Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) only affect a small minority of trees in the UK, which are made and managed by local authorities. Other trees are protected if they are within a conservation area. Many local authorities now have online maps to help you investigate if a tree is protected by a TPO or is in a conservation area.
Trees may become protected due to their presence on an important site, for example a historic building and its gardens.
All planning applications must detail the trees on the land
On any planning application the trees that belong on that land must be specified and details of any trees that may be affected must be mentioned. This would include their crown spread and appropriate, calculated root protection area.
The Local Planning Authority has a duty to ensure that planning conditions are used to provide for tree preservation and planting. All the relevant development documents, including any tree surveys, will usually be available to view on the local authority website.
One of the policies for trees states that:
'Planning permission should be refused for development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, including ancient woodland and the loss of aged or veteran trees found outside ancient woodland, unless the need for, and benefits of, the development in that location clearly outweigh the loss.'
Protection of a collective of trees
Trees may also be protected with important habitats or heritage sites, such as historic parks and gardens or another place of special interest.
How you can help
Many important ancient, veteran, notable or special interest trees are not properly protected and are susceptible to loss. We encourage all local communities to assess their trees, so as to be able to help safeguard the most important trees if they are threatened.
The arborists at Tree Surgeon Essex are qualified to help customers with trees that have TPOs. For tree pruning, tree removal, stump removal or hedge trimming, call us on 01708 578 017.