Trees protected

Works to trees protected by a tree preservation order or a conservation area.

Conservation and preservation

A conservation area is an area of special historical or architectural interest that we intend to preserve or enhance. Within a conservation area we have extra controls over a number of factors including the protection of trees. There are 20 conservation areas in Southampton, all of varying sizes. Only trees with a trunk diameter greater than 75mm at 1.5m above ground level are protected.

A Tree Preservation Order protects individual trees, groups of trees and woodlands. It prevents trees from being lopped, topped, pruned, uprooted or damaged in any way without prior permission from the local authority. There are over 600 tree preservation orders in Southampton.

Check if a tree is protected or in a conservation area before carrying out any work.

Request to have a tree protected by a tree preservation order

Works to trees protected by a tree preservation order or a conservation area

  • If you wish to carry out works on a tree in a conservation area you will need to give the council 6 weeks written notification. The notification allows time for a tree officer to visit the site and assess if the work is appropriate.
    In certain situations a tree preservation order may be placed on a tree or trees to prevent works being carried out.
  • If you wish to carry out works to a tree protected by a tree preservation order you will need to make an application.
  • The council has up to eight weeks to make a decision on a tree preservation order application.
  • You can make a notification or an application by completing the form on the Planning Portal site
  • or downloading a copy of the Application for tree works: works to trees subject to a tree preservation order.
  • Guidance notes are available. Applications and notifications cannot be registered if the information is vague or the form has not been completed correctly. From April to December 2016 almost 30% of 1APP's could not be registered and were returned to applicants.

If you are unsure what works are required we would suggest getting a tree surgeon to inspect the tree (or trees). Should you need help finding a tree surgeon we would suggest looking at the Arboricultural Association website.

Should a protected tree be damaged during bad weather contact the trees team.

You can check on the status of your application for tree works on Public Access

Should an application for works to a tree protected by a tree preservation order be refused you may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate

If you would like an update about an existing private tree enquiry please complete the Tree enquiry update form

Penalties

If someone prunes a tree without giving six weeks notice. It can lead to a prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500. Destroying a tree without giving six weeks notice can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.

If the tree or parts of the tree are dead or dangerous then works can be done without a notification. However it will be up to the person pruning the tree to prove that the tree was dead or dangerous. If you intend to carry out work on a tree in this situation you should give the council five days notice by contacting the trees team.

Some properties have trees protected by a conservation area and a tree preservation order. For example trees in a front garden may be protected by a conservation area and trees in the back garden may be protected by a tree preservation order.