Our website will be unavailable from midday to 3pm on Wednesday 24 July. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Apply for permission to work on trees protected by a tree preservation order (TPO), or give us notice of proposed works to trees in a conservation area.

If you want to report a problem with a tree, comment on a tree felling notice or find out how you can help with tree planting and tree maintenance visit our trees and meadow page.

How to apply

Make an application for tree works on the Planning Portal

Help us process your application more quickly

  • Providing photographs of all the trees you propose to work on can speed up the application because it may help us make a decision without the need for a site visit
  • You will need to submit 2 separate applications if you apply to work on trees with Tree Preservation Orders, and others only protected by Conservation Area status
  • Ensure the address of the tree is correct particularly if it is not on your property. You may apply to do work to another's tree but you will need the owner's permission to do anything other than cutting to the boundary
  • Provide pruning specifications in metres to be removed, or height and width remaining. We no longer accept tree works applications that include pruning measured in percentages as this does not accord with the British Standard for tree works BS3998 (2012). If you are pruning to previous pruning points you should specifiy that, and whether you intend to leave any younger growth. You may also submit a photograph marked to demonstrate the size to which you intend to prune the tree
  • We may be able to respond quicker if you provide reasons for your proposed works to trees in Conservation Areas as is required for trees covered by Tree Preservation orders

Other ways to apply

You can apply by post. You can get an application form from the Planning Portal website.

Send your completed form to development.management@bristol.gov.uk or post to Development Management, City Hall, Bristol City Council, PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS1 9NE.


There's no cost for making an application for tree works.

What happens next

If you've applied to do works to a tree protected by a TPO, we'll write to you to tell you our decision within eight weeks.

You can appeal against our decision. We'll send you information about how to do this when we give you our decision. You can also appeal if we haven't made a decision on your application within eight weeks.

If you've notified us of proposed tree works in a conservation area, you'll hear from us within six weeks.

Works can go ahead if we decide that they're acceptable, or if we don't make a decision within six weeks of the date of receiving your notice. We'll let you know the six week expiry date.

You must not start work within the six week period.

Getting tree work done

We can't recommend particular tree works contractors. The Arboricultural Association maintains a list of approved contractors.

If your tree is an ancient or veteran tree you can find guidance on how to manage it on the Ancient Tree Forum.

Bird nesting season

It is not advised to do tree work in bird nesting season. Anyone who takes, damages or destroys the nest of any wild bird, whilst that nest is in use or being built, is guilty of an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Prior to commencing work, you should ensure that no nesting birds will be affected.

Contact information

Development Management

City Hall
PO Box 3399
Bristol, BS1 9NE

Email: development.management@bristol.gov.uk
Tel: 0117 922 3000