Take care of protected trees
Residents in St Albans District are reminded to check the status of trees before they do any work on them during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Many people are using the extra time spent at home during the public health emergency to do more gardening.
However, they should check if a tree is protected before cutting down branches, uprooting it or doing any other work.
One neighbouring local authority has reported incidents of protected trees being cut without authorisation.
St Albans City and District Council is not aware of similar problems within its area but is acting to make residents aware of the need to check if a tree is protected.
Some trees or groups of trees seen as being particularly important are protected by Tree Preservation Orders or by virtue of being in a conservation area.
To carry out work on those trees, residents need to make an application to the Council which decides if it can be allowed.
Councillor Jamie Day, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Building Control, said:
With many people isolating at home and the warmer weather approaching, we want to ensure residents are aware of the rules regarding protected trees.
A map showing the location of these trees is available on our website together with information about how to gain authorisation for any work.
Trees are a feature of great beauty and also improve the environment, so we want to retain our protected trees for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.
I am sure our residents will respect the rules and endeavour to make sure they do not carry out work they need authorisation for.
Anyone who destroys a protected tree can be fined up to £20,000 while the maximum penalty for damage is £2,500.
Residents can check if a tree is protected by looking at a map on the Council’s website: https://gis.stalbans.gov.uk/WebMapLayers8/map.aspx.
Help on using the map can be found here: https://gis.stalbans.gov.uk/WebMapLayers8/help/wml8_help.pdf.
More information about protected trees and how to make an application to carry out work is available here: https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/tree-preservation-orders.
People can also make an enquiry to the Council’s arboriculture team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council is still continuing to assess tree work applications during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Picture: trees in St Michael’s Village, St Albans.
Councillor Jamie Day,
Portfolio Holder for Planning for St Albans City and District Council
Principal Communications Officer,
St Albans City and District Council