in short...

It is essential to consider Tree Preservation Orders when planning some work. Searches can be made online or we can undertake these for you if you wish.

the full answer...

It is essential to consider the potential for Tree Preservation Orders when planning any tree works, especially in South-West London, as there are a number of conservation areas and you can be liable for a large fine if you do not get the correct permission. It is easy to check whether your property is in a conservation area or if there are Tree Preservation Orders that may apply. These can be checked, sometimes online, with the relevant local authority. We are more than happy to undertake these searches on your behalf if preferred.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 also makes special provision for trees in conservation areas which are not the subject of a TPO. Every conservation area has blanket order covering all trees with a central stem diameter of 7.5cm at 1.5meters from ground level. This does not generally apply to shrubs and hedges.

Getting Permission to Remove a Tree

Anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work on a tree in a conservation area is required to give the Local Planning Authority six weeks’ prior notice (a ‘section 211 notice’). The purpose of this requirement is to give the LPA an opportunity to consider whether a TPO should be made in respect of the tree. Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. They are designated by LPAs and are often, though not always, centred around listed buildings. Other buildings and landscape features, including trees, may also contribute to the special character of a conservation area. Trees that are exempt from TPOs are those that are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous and fruit trees grown for the commercial production of fruit. A 5-day notice may still apply (checking with planning is essential). TPOs prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, pruning, crown lifting, reduction and wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without consent

A responsible, professional tree surgeon will never be willing to ignore this legislation. The conservation area application is a notification of works, rather than an application for permission. In congested areas, trees can have a high amenity value for all the people who can see it or could be affected by its removal or pruning/reduction. Councils deem it appropriate that everyone should have an opportunity to have the impact on them considered. Generally the consultation process takes 6 weeks from the date the application is received.

These applications are free of charge and most professional tree surgery companies would not consider charging a customer for completing and managing an application.

The relevant forms can be found at: and it is possible to send an application through that site.

You may also wish to check if these restrictions apply to your property.

For tree work on properties in Wandsworth, you can visit:,

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For tree work in Kensington and Chelsea please visit:

For tree work in Hammersmith and Fulham, please visit:

If you need tree removal in South West London, we are very happy to help – just click above to call us for advice and a free quotation.

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