Tree protection

Trees can be protected by a Tree Preservation Order or fall within a conservation area so you will need to give notice of work to protected trees.  However, there are some cases where trees are exempt from giving notice.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A TPO is made by the Local Planning Authority to protect trees or woodlands against damage. If you're planning to carry out works to a protected tree you need to get permission from the Council.

To find out:

  • if there is a TPO near your property type your post code into the My West Oxfordshire area of our website.
  • specific information about a Tree Preservation Order, contact our Forestry and Landscape Officer on 01993 861662

Trees in Conservation Areas

Many of the historic towns and villages in West Oxfordshire have a distinctive character which needs special protection so they have been named as conservation areas. Trees in conservation areas have special provision as well as buildings and development.

If you are planning to carry out work to a tree in a conservation area you are required by law to give us six weeks notice unless exemption applies - please see section below. This is so we can consider whether a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) should be made to protect the trees. It's a criminal offence to prune, fell or damage a tree in a conservation area without giving us notice.

Giving notice of work to protected trees

It is essential that you plan ahead if you intend to carry out work to protected trees as we must be given six weeks notice in writing of the following:

  • the precise location of the tree(s)
  • a detailed description of the proposed work.

Or fill in the notification form which is available from our Planning team. You will receive a written reply before the end of the six week period.

The relevant forms can be found on the 'make a planning application' page. Please see validation checklist 31 in the list of application types.

Exemptions from giving notice of work to protected trees

You don't have to give six weeks notice if:

1. The tree has a diameter less than 75mm. The diameter as measured at 1.5m above ground level.

2. If you have a felling licence granted by the Forestry Commission or a plan of operations approved by the Commission under one of its grant schemes.

3. Cutting or removing garden hedges.

4. Cutting or removing garden shrubs.

5. Work that's necessary to carry out an approved planning scheme.

6. If the trees are dead or have become dangerous 5 days written notice is required (unless it has become so dangerous that it requires immediate action, in which case, notify us as soon as possible). If you aren't sure if the condition of the tree means it is exempt please contact our planning services team before carrying out work on 01993 861420.

7. Removing dead branches from a living tree(s).


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West Oxfordshire District Council
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OX28 1PB