Are you in need of tree surgery services in and around the Cobham area? If you have already started researching the various types of tree work available, you may have encountered the term TPO. Whether you have a general understanding of this term, or it’s entirely new to you, it’s vital to fully grasp just how important TPOs are. Before you get too far down the road of tree surgery services, let us clarify things for you.
If you ignore a TPO for a tree on your property, you could face legal action from the local authority in Cobham.
In this blog, we introduce exactly what TPOs are and how you can ensure your proposed tree surgery fully complies with them.
What is a TPO?
TPO is shorthand for ‘tree preservation order.’ It is a legal written document that protects trees for environmental and aesthetic reasons, as well as for the enjoyment of the public. A TPO can protect anything from a single tree to an entire area.
A TPO can come from numerous sources. These include your local authority or borough council in Cobham as well as a national park authority. If a tree has protected status, you cannot:
• Cut it down
• Uproot it
• Wilfully damage it
• Perform unauthorised tree work
For clarity, TPOs do not extend to hedges, shrubs and bushes.
You cannot simply ignore a TPO. If you plan to proceed with any tree surgery without addressing the TPO, you will be charged with an offence.
Is My Tree Protected?
For all the information you need about TPOs relating to trees on your property, you should contact your local planning authority. They will allow you to inspect the records for all the details you need.
Who Has Responsibility for a Protected Tree?
If a tree grows on your land in Cobham, the local authority has no ownership of it, whether it has a TPO or not. As such, you are responsible for the condition of any protected tree or trees – and for any damage it may cause.
However, even though the local authority doesn’t own your protected tree, you will likely need their written consent before carrying out any tree surgery on it. If they refuse, you can follow certain appeal procedures.
What is the Process for Notification of Proposed Tree Work?
As qualified tree surgeons, we are familiar with the documentation needed for notifying your local authority about proposed work on protected trees. The local authority will inform you on how to go about getting the necessary form.
When filling out this paperwork, you must be clear about the type of tree surgery you want us to perform and why it is necessary. As your chosen professionals, we can help make your case with an assessment of the tree’s health and the surrounding environment.
However, the procedure is different if your tree:
• Is already dead
• Is an urgent risk to health and safety
• Interferes with approved planning
It’s best to check with your local authority in Cobham regarding the process for these situations.
While the notification period varies from case to case, the average time it takes for a response regarding tree surgery on a protected tree is around 8 weeks.
Always Seek Professional Help
The world of tree preservation orders can become confusing. But TPOs are issued with good intentions, so it’s important to respect them and their related processes.
If you’re at the start of your tree surgery journey in Cobham, we can use our decades of experience to make things as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
As a simplified starting point, remember that if your tree has a TPO:
• You are responsible for its health and upkeep
• You must notify the local planning authority ahead of any tree work