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.
There are approximately 500 TPO's in Southampton and the trees team continues to make new TPO's when appropriate. Each order can cover a number of trees in an area, for example an order may cover a small woodland, several individual trees and a group of trees.
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.
Find out if a tree is protected by completing the online form. Alternatively call Actionline or email the trees team.
If you wish to carry out work on a TPO tree you will need to make an application.
This form and guidance notes can be downloaded and printed, it can also be completed online on the planning portal website. A form can also be requested by contacting the Actionline.
The status of an application can be checked online.
In certain circumstances trees may be exempt from the protection of a tree preservation order or conservation area. Exemption applies when the tree or parts of the tree are dead, dying or dangerous. In this situation there is no need to apply for permission or to notify the council of your intentions to carry out works. 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.
If you suspect a protected tree is causing subsidence to your property contact your building insurance company. There are a number of causes of subsidence, trees are not the only cause for damage. It is essential to establish the cause of the damage.
If you think tree works are being carried out on a protected tree without permission contact the Actionline or email the trees team using the details below
It is possible to view or purchase a copy of a TPO.