Find out about tree preservation orders (TPOs) and what it means if your tree is protected.

To make sure trees are not lost or damaged they can be protected by a TPO.  They are also protected if they grow in a conservation area. This means that pruning or other work done to the tree must be agreed by us before any work is carried out.

All types of trees, including hedgerow trees can be covered but not hedges, bushes or shrubs.

Find out if a tree is protected by a TPO


When emailing please attach a site plan which clearly marks the boundary of your particular area of interest and/or the trees in question.

Works that need permission

Works that need permission include the felling, lopping, topping and cutting the roots.

If you remove or work on trees without permission you may be prosecuted.

Works that don't need permission

  • where the tree is dead or dangerous, this includes the removal of dead wood or dangerous branches from an otherwise healthy tree; you'll need to give us notice of works to dead or dangerous trees
  • where works are in line with an Act of Parliament
  • works by utilities and telecoms companies or nationalised companies, for example Railtrack
  • works to allow a development to take place in line with a full planning permission
  • the pruning of fruit trees where the trees are cultivated and the pruning is needed for fruit production

How to apply for permission

You'll need to make an application for works to trees for permission to carry out any works on a protected tree.

Permission for emergency work to dead or dangerous trees

You must give us at least working five days' notice before you carry out works on a dead or dangerous protected tree.

If the tree is causing an immediate danger, then you can carry out work without giving notice but you must let us know as soon as possible after the works become necessary.

Find out more about dead or dangerous trees.

What happens if you cut down protected trees without permission

You could be prosecuted.  If convicted, you may be fined up to £20,000 in the Magistrates Court for each tree.

You would also need to replace any tree removed without permission.

Request a TPO

You can request a TPO on trees that you think need to be protected.

We are unlikely to protect trees in Conservation Areas unless there is a live application to remove them. We are also unlikely to protect your own trees, as most orders are served to protect trees from owners who may undervalue them.

If you wish to make a request, email

Contact information

Development Management

City Hall
PO Box 3399
Bristol, BS1 9NE

Tel: 0117 922 3000