Applying to work on a protected tree

If a tree is covered by a Conservation Area or a Tree Preservation Order any tree work or management will require an application to us. An application will usually take no longer than 8 weeks to determine.

If you are unfamiliar with completing the application form for tree works we strongly recommend you read these  guidance notes and the information on applications below. In certain circumstances the removal of trees may need a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission.  For further information about felling licences and whether an application is needed, please refer to the Forestry Commission website.

Applications can be made online via the Planning Portal website, or alternatively you can download and print off the application form. This can be returned to Planning Services by post or email, using the addresses shown at the top of the form. 

Submitting an application for tree work

For a tree work application to be registered and made valid it must contain all of the necessary and correct information. An invalid application or notification will not be processed until all of the discrepancies are rectified which can cause long delays.  

We have tried to list some of the common reasons for why tree work applications and notifications are made invalid below:

  • Incomplete application form

  • Lack of specific, descriptive works requested*

  • Lack of specific, objective reasons for works requested*

  • Lack of plan showing tree location(s)

  • Lack of supporting evidence

Providing accurate description of works

Please refer to the diagram explaining tree work dimensions to aid your application.

Applications including crown reductions must include the following dimensions:

  • final tree height in metres after the proposed works are completed (from the ground to very top of the tree – Dimension C on diagram)

  • final radial crown spread in metres after proposed tree works are completed (distance from the trunk of the tree to the edge of the canopy – Dimension D on diagram)

  • final branch length in metres if individual specific branches require pruning

  • annotated photograph(s) showing amount of crown to be removed (Example E on diagram)

Applications including crown lifting must include the following dimensions:

  • total amount of height clearance in metres desired from ground level to the lowest remaining branch after proposed works are completed (Dimension F on the diagram explaining tree work dimensions)

Reasons for work must be objective or include additional supporting information. Below are some typical reasons for tree works that do not meet validation requirements:

  • tree requires general maintenance (subjective)

  • maintain general health (subjective)

  • risk to building foundations (subjective)

  • tree is too tall

  • over extended limb(s)

  • tree is dangerous – without supplying supporting information as to why the tree is dangerous e.g. photos, arboricultural report, accurate description etc.

  • tree has caused damage – without supplying proof of damage e.g. photos, engineers report, drainage report etc.

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