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A quick guide on legislation and trees

Carrying out any work on some trees should always happen only after you have established their legal status. The reason for this is simple: the legislation of England puts some trees under protection, which means you cannot work on them unless you get all the proper authorisation.


Otherwise, you face the risk of prosecution and enforcement actions, like a criminal record and hefty fines. If you wish to find out more about tree preservation orders, planning conditions, felling licenses,


conservation areas and the restrictive covenants that protect a large part of the trees in the UK, read on:



  • Tree Preservation Orders – TPOs, for short, exist for one purpose: to protect the trees that are important to their local area, as they bring big amenity benefit to it. It is the Local Planning Authorities that administer TPOs – national park authorities, boroughs/unitary/district councils, etc. TPOs protect all kinds of trees, but not bushes.
  • Orders sometimes affect single trees, whereas in other cases they cover the entire woodland or defined area. TPOs can be issued for any tree species, though there are no species that fall under automatic protection. The order itself makes cutting down, uprooting, topping or purposefully damaging a tree a criminal offence. If you wish to carry out works on a tree that is under a TPO, you have to submit an application form to your local planning authority. It is a good idea to consult with a tree surgeon before you submit such form.
  • Conservation areas – normal TPOs usually cover trees that are part of a conservation area. If that is not the case and you need to do work on the tree(s), you have to notify your LPA via email, letter or their form. In it, you have to describe in detail what you want to do, at least six weeks before starting any work. If you plan on executing work on a tree less than 7.5 cm in diameter, you do not need to give notice. The purpose of the notice itself is to provide the LPA with the opportunity to issue a protective order.
  • Felling license – the Forestry Commission is the only one to administer felling licenses. If you want to fell a tree in your garden, you don’t need a permit. Yet, for a tree outside the garden, you have to apply to the Forestry Commission for the proper license.
  • Restrictive covenant – in essence, this is a promise that one person makes to another, for instance, a buyer and a seller, not to do certain things to the land on which the property is. It is more binding for the land, and not so much for the individual owner. That means even if the owner sells to another person, the covenant continues in effect.
  • Making a covenant or other different restrictions in the property title require third party consent for carrying out any tree work in the area. This is the case even if no TPO or a felling license applies.
  • The site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – the Statutory Nature Conservation
  • Organisation designates all SSSI. These are beautiful habitats, teeming with wildlife. Each of these sites has a management plan and a list of operations that require the consent of the SNCO before any works are carried out. Reckless activity or intentional harm to SSSI is a liable offence, which could lead to a hefty fine or a summary conviction.

Knowing all this now will definitely help you in regards to carrying out tree work in accordance with the legislation that applies.


If you wish to find out more on the matter, consult with Treework Environmental Practice.


© Treework Environmental Practice

Know what you don't know about arboriculture

If there are certain aspects of the work of arboricultural consultants that you are not sure of, it is time to clear them up. You should do that because you want to understand better the different aspects of the work that these experts do with your trees. It is important, as it guarantees the wellbeing of the trees and that there will not be major problems associated with them. Here are a few of those aspects and questions regarding arboriculture that you should learn more about:



  • What is arboriculture all about? – Many practices and activities go into what people refer to as arboriculture. Generally speaking, you can define it as the work associated with keeping trees in their best condition. Most of this work targets the visual aspect of woodland and has nothing to do with timber production or similar activities.
  • What is an arboricultural contractor? – This is a professional you hire to prune your tree, advise you how to care for trees on your property, or, in the worst case scenario, fell a tree that is dangerous. Other names for such an expert include tree surgeon and arborists.


  • What does an arboricultural contractor do? – There are a few services you can acquire from the professionals. As mentioned, you’d most commonly contact them to prune or fell a tree. They can also remove a stump. Additionally, they can consult you on the health of your trees, and check if a tree is protected. You can also consult with such an expert on legal matters regarding your tree.


  • Where do you hire such experts from? – A quick search on the Internet will provide you with plenty of options. Simply search for ‘tree work’, and you will get many candidates in your area. You can also check out lists on the Arboricultural Association, which provide contact information, as well as a price quote on their services. Before you hire any of them, make sure you browse several companies and get a quote from all of them. Keep in mind that to get a precise quote, you should ask for an on-site visit. You may have to pay for such a visit, so make sure you ask before you arrange it.


  • How do you choose a consultant/contractor? – There may be no list of approved contractors, although if you browse the Arboricultural Association online website. If you want to be sure you have qualified staff on the case, ask for insurance cover, membership in certain trade associations and job references. Never trust a company that doesn’t follow the strict safety guidelines of the industry.
  • What companies should you employ? – Do not trust people who knock on your door and leave flyers by the mailbox. If you don’t know anything about their address, work qualification, insurance and so on, it is best to seek another established company for the task.

There is no doubt that by now you know more about arboriculture. Knowing who to hire when you have a problem tree will prove quite valuable.



At Treework Environmental Practice we can explain these matters to you in further detail. Be sure to contact us on 0117 244 0012.


©  Treework Environmental Practice



Source: http://www.treeworks.co.uk