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Tree Preservation Orders

TPO tree


Many trees throughout the district are protected through individual Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

If you have a tree or group of trees protected by a tree preservation order, or you are within a conservation area and you wish to carry out any form of tree work, you must seek permission from the Council before starting.

The maximum fine for the wilful destruction of a TPO or Conservation Area tree is £20,000 per tree. Wilful damage carries the maximum fine of £2,500 per tree.

Application for tree works

The Council has up to eight weeks to determine applications for works to TPO trees. There is a right of appeal for refusals. Appeals must be made to the Planning Inspectorate within 28 days of the Council’s decision.

Site visits will be carried out unaccompanied and we may ask that external access through a gate is provided at a prearranged time. Should access through a building be necessary and the only means possible, we will contact you to arrange a specific time.

Apply online

Application forms for works to trees subject to a preservation order (TPO) and/or notification of proposed works to trees in conservation areas (CA) can be downloaded below.

Fast-track service for applications relating to TPO trees and Conservation Area notices

A fast-track service now exists for tree work applications so that decisions are made by the end of the 4th week after validation unless they are called in for a Planning Committee to determine instead. For full details, please see out Fast-track Tree Service page.

Asking for a tree to be protected Toggle accordion

If an important tree is believed to be under threat - from neglect or because of development nearby, for instance - a request can be made for a preservation order to be placed on the tree(s).

Click here to ask for a tree to be protected

We can be contacted on 01727 866100.

Please provide the following information:

  • the address where the tree is to be found;
  • the exact location of the tree within the property;
  • any information about the type/size of the tree;
  • the reason(s) why the tree is believed to be at risk.

We will carry out a tree survey and inspection. This will include a life expectancy and amenity evaluation, placing a value on the tree as an environmental asset. There is no charge for this.

If an order is made, notices are served on the owner of the land and the adjoining landowners if tree canopies overhang across their land.

Objecting to a new tree preservation order Toggle accordion

If we write to you to say that we are placing a tree preservation order on a tree on your land or overhanging it you can object. An objection must be made within 28 days and in writing. When we receive an objection, the proposed order and objection are reported to the relevant area planning committee, which you can attend. The Planning Committee will then consider your objections before deciding whether or not to confirm the TPO.

If the Committee decides to approve the order, there is no right to further appeal to the Council.

TPOs by reference number

If you know the number of the TPO you are looking for, you can download the document from the pages below. 

Where the TPO is missing from the sequential numbering, it is no longer in force but in many cases has been replaced with a new TPO reference.

You can check the status of trees on a mapping system on our District Mapping Service using the Map Layers and selecting Tree Preservation Orders under Planning Constraints.

Before the forming of St Albans City and District Council, TPOs were served by previous local councils: St Albans, Harpenden (H) and Rural (R). After number 120, the sequential numbering begins again at 1000.