Understanding Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) consent

TPO Tree Preservation Order

Understanding Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) consent

Protected trees are located within any of Glasgow’s 24 conservation areas or are independently protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

Almost every tree owner, avid gardener, and landowner is familiar with the concept of a tree preservation order. However, if you are not, you can continue reading this article. By reading this blog you will gain a better understanding of the tree preservation order (TPO) and how it works.  Your tree preservation order (TPO) questions will be answered and it will be explained what you should and shouldn’t do.

Protected trees are those located within any of the City’s 24 conservation areas or are independently protected by a Tree Preservation Order. Therefore, you don’t want to get charged by your local authority if you’re going to be carrying out work on trees on your property.


TPO’s are legal written documents that you should not neglect. TPO’s are legally binding, therefore please treat the advice given as information only. A solicitor can assist you in gaining a thorough understanding of your obligations or rights.

What is a tree preservation order (TPO)?

This order implements better tree protection and preservation for public, aesthetic and environmental purposes. A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is made by the Local Authority, under Section 160 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, and within the procedures set out in the Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation Order and Trees in Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2010.


The TPOs are made to protect individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands which have particular amenity value, make a significant contribution to the landscape or townscape or because there may be a potential threat to the trees.

Moreover, please note that if an individual tree is under TPO, doing any of these below is an offence:

  • Cut down
  • Top
  • Lop
  • Uproot
  • Wilfully damage

Whilst, TPOs don’t cover:

  • Shrubs
  • Bushes

How can I tell if a tree is protected?

Tree protection order (TPOs) safeguards trees in your neighbourhood.

  • Tree Preservation Orders and for designated Conservation Areas check the Property Search register.
  • Check the Online Planning register of Planning Permissions.
  • Contact the Council via its dedicated tree Email Enquiry Line
  • Check whether a TPO has been included in the title deeds of a property at the Register of Sasines (Land Register)
  • If the tree is on Council owned land or a pavement contact Land and Environmental Services (Parks) Aboriculture team on 0141 287 5035 or by Email

Who is responsible for a tree with a TPO?

The responsibility for good management of all trees always rests with the property owner, as does the responsibility for obtaining the correct permissions for any proposed works. Your tree surgeon will be able to assist you with this.

The local planning authority does not own a TPO tree-covered if it’s on your land. However, you’re still in charge of maintaining your trees, and the tree preservation procedures. Prior approval is required to carry out work on your trees if they are protected with a TPO. If the application is refused, there are appeal procedures you can follow.

We’re often asked about overhanging branches from trees within a neighbours property. In these cases, you have the right to cut these back to the line of the property boundary but technically the branches remain the property of the neighbour, and the cut branches should be offered back to your neighbours prior to responsible disposal.

Do I need consent or notification from the local authority before I can work on a tree?

An experienced tree surgeon is familiar with the standard documentation and application process. If you don’t know how to obtain it, your local authority can help. If you live within on of Glasgow City Councils districts you can find out how to apply to carry out work on protected trees here

It is essential to be specific about the tree work you wish done and explain why it should be done on the application form. At this point, a skilled tree surgeon can assess the tree’s health and the surrounding environment.

However, if an individual tree has an urgent health and safety risk, dies, and interfered with approved planning, there are different rules to follow. Consulting with your local planning authority in these situations is a must.

In general, the notification period varies, and you’ll need to confirm, but 6 weeks is in accordance with what is expected.

Seek professional help

There are lots of complexities surrounding Tree Preservation Order, but they are generally issued with the best of intentions – to ensure we can enjoy nature for a long time to come.

Essentially, you have the following responsibilities as a tree owner:

  • It is your responsibility to maintain and care for it.
  • It is necessary to notify the local planning authority in advance if you are planning any tree work.

Professional tree surgeons will assess your tree and assist you with any paperwork and notifications that are necessary.

You can contact Timber Tree Surgeons here.

Enjoy your trees!

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