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You are here:home > Environment > Trees > Tree preservation orders

Tree preservation orders

A tree preservation order (TPO) 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.

Questions about tree preservation orders

1. Can tree works be carried out on trees protected by a tree preservation order?

An application must be made should anyone wish to carry out works to trees protected by a tree preservation order. The government has a form that must be used, this is called a 1APP.

The 1APP can be made online at the Planning Portal, downloaded from our webpage or a request can be made for a form to be posted. Guidance notes are also available.

If you are unsure what works are required we would suggest getting a tree surgeon to inspect the tree/s. A tree surgeon can also make a 1APP on behalf of a customer.

The council has up to 8 weeks to determine the application.  A tree officer will visit and a decision will be issued.  This will be a permission notice or a refusal notice.

All applications and decision notices are available to view online.

2. What happens if someone prunes a protected tree without permission?

Pruning a TPO tree without permission can lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500. Destroying a TPO tree without permission can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.


3. Who do I contact if I suspect illegal tree works are being carried out?

Contact the trees team on 023 8083 3005.  We will need to know the exact location of the tree works and what is taking place.

4. Are some tree works exempt?

If the tree or parts of the tree are dead, dying or dangerous then works can be done without an application. However it will be up to the person pruning the tree to prove that the tree was dead, dying or dangerous.

Therefore 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.

5. Can trees be protected by a tree preservation order and a conservation area?

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

If unsure of the status of trees on a property, complete the form for a TPO check. The trees team will check for conservation areas, tree preservation orders, ex-council deed of covenant and development landscaping conditions.

6. Can I check the status of an application?

Yes, the status of a 1APP can be checked online.

7. Can I view or purchase a copy of a TPO?

Yes, it is possible to view or purchase a copy of a Tree Preservation Order.

Should you wish to view a TPO document contact the Actionline on 023 8083 3005 or email the tree team. An appointment can be made to visit Gateway at One Guildhall Square. The name of the TPO or the address of the site will be required in order to locate the correct document.  

Should you wish to purchase a copy TPO document contact the Actionline or email the tree team. A copy document costs £36. 

If paying in person payment can be made by cheque or cash. If sending payment this can be made by cheque. If paying by cheque make payable to Southampton City Council. If paying in person an appointment will need to be made.

8. How many trees are protected by a tree preservation order?

There are 517 Tree Preservation Orders in Southampton.

Orders can include individual trees, groups, woodlands and areas.

  • There are 3927 individual trees in Orders
  • There are 2019 groups in Orders
  • There are 91 woodlands in Orders
  • There are 165 areas in Orders

9. Where can I find out more about tree preservation orders?

You can get more information from the Planning Portal on Tree Preservation Orders.

Downloadable documents

Icon Name of file Size Download time
PDF document Request a copy of a tree preservation order 13 KB 0secs @ 2Mbps
Link to download Adobe Acrobat if required

Contact information