Tree preservation orders (TPOs)

Trees with tree preservation orders

Trees may be protected under the Town & Country Planning Act by a tree preservation order (TPO).

A TPO makes it an offence to wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree. If you wish to prune any living part of the tree or to cut the tree down you require the planning authority’s written permission. A TPO can protect a single tree, a group of trees, woodland or a defined area.

How to check whether a tree has a TPO

The council can make a tree preservation order (TPO) at any time so you are advised to check the status of a tree or woodland if you intend to undertake any work or before instructing a contractor. You can do this by searching our online map.

Map showing TPOs in Bracknell Forest

If you prefer, you can get a simple yes/no response from us to confirm whether a tree is protected by a TPO. You can do this by completing our protected tree online enquiry form.

Working on a tree with a TPO

If the map shows a TPO is on your land (or next to your property) then you should contact us before starting any work.

If the trees are protected, and you want to carry out maintenance work on trees in your garden or overhanging branches from your neighbour's garden, then it is a legal requirement to first apply to the council to get permission.

Trees in conservation areas

If your property falls within one of the conservation areas in Bracknell you are required by law to give us written notice of your intention to prune or remove any trees on your property or that of your neighbours.

All trees within these conservation areas (above a certain size) are automatically protected. If any stem on the tree is larger than 7.5 centimetres diameter when measured at 1.5 metres above ground level it is automatically protected and you must submit a tree work application form. 

Conservation areas in Bracknell Forest - includes appraisal reports and maps.

Making an application to work on a tree

Guidance

Please read the guidance below before making an application to work on trees with TPO and/or to notify us of proposed works to trees in conservation areas:

Application forms

You can use these forms to apply for works on trees with a TPO and/or to notify us of proposed works to trees in conservation areas.

What happens next

We have 8 weeks from the date of receipt to process and respond to the request for work to a tree with a TPO.

If you have applied to do work on a tree in a conservation area we have 6 weeks in which to respond. We can either not object to your proposal or make a TPO.

A new TPO takes provisional effect for a period of six months. During the first 28 days of this period any interested party can comment on the new order and all valid written submissions will be considered before confirming the TPO.

View tree work applications

You can view tree work applications on our online planning register.

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