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Birmingham City Council

Tree Preservation

Overview

Shortcut to this page www.birmingham.gov.uk/treepreservation

We have powers to protect trees which are considered to be an amenity to a local area. To do this we make Tree Preservation Orders on all species of trees, young and old. Trees are important for many reasons. They make an area visually more attractive and may also be an historical feature of a neighbourhood. They also provide habitats for wildlife, so are important for nature conservation, and are good for the environment.

The guide below is for anyone involved in works to a protected tree. It advises how we have specific powers to protect trees by making a Tree Preservation Order (TPOs) as well as explaining the special provisions that apply to trees within designated Conservation Areas.

The locations of sites that have a TPO on them are now available on our LocalView mapping system. Follow the link and type your post code into the search box in the top left corner.

Essential Information
  • We keep records on all Tree Preservation Orders in Birmingham whether trees are on private land or situated within a Conservation Area. All trees within a Conservation Area are protected.

    The locations of sites that have a TPO on them are now available on our LocalView mapping system. Follow the link and type your post code into the search box in the top left corner or contact us for further information .

  • It is an offence to carry out work without written permission. If you wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree, you could be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000 in the Magistrates Court.

Frequently Asked Questions
    • The responsibility is that of the owner of the land from which they are growing. If a tree straddles a boundary, it may be jointly owned. The deeds of the property may be helpful in finding out the ownership. We only get involved if we own the tree or if the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

    • Responsibility for looking after a tree lies with the owner. The owner will be liable if it can be proven they have been negligent in looking after it. In that case, you will need to prove the owner knew the tree was dangerous and did nothing about it to make it safe.


    • We have powers to protect trees which are considered to be an amenity to a local area. To do this we make Tree Preservation Orders on all species of trees, young and old. Trees are important for many reasons. They make an area visually more attractive and may also be an historical feature of a neighbourhood. They also provide habitats for wildlife, so are important for nature conservation, and are good for the environment. A Tree Preservation Order protects trees that make an impact on their local surroundings. This is important when trees are in immediate danger. It also makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree without our permission.

    • All trees regardless of species can be protected by a tree preservation order. The order can cover anything from a single tree to woodlands. Hedgerow trees can be protected, but NOT hedges, bushes or shrubs.

    • You can find out if a tree or trees are protected by contacting us. You can visit our offices after making an appointment to view our records.

    • If you feel a particular tree or trees should be protected you can apply for a Tree Preservation Order using our Tree Preservation Order Request Form.

      We will then visit the site and assess the tree’s impact on the area and health of the tree.

    • If you know of a protected tree which is unsafe, or you believe unauthorised work is being carried out on a protected tree, please contact us.

    • Your common law rights allow you to remove any of your neighbours' branches that cross your boundary without the need to seek your neighbours' permission, although you may wish to notify your neighbour of your intentions. You should not cross the boundary or dispose of the branches or other material from the tree into your neighbours' property, but first ask if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they do not want it, it will be your responsibility to arrange disposal.

      If the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or is located within a Conservation Area you will need to seek permission before undertaking work to living parts of the tree.

    • No. A tree preservation order does not prevent planning permission being granted although we will consider the risk to protected trees. Once planning permission has been granted, any felling may be carried out which is directly required to enable the development to go ahead.

    • You can carry out whatever work is needed to make it safe. The work must be the minimum needed and additional work will require a formal application to us. You must tell us as soon as possible if you have carried out such work or if a protected tree has been blown over into your garden. You may be required to replace the tree in due course. If possible, take photographs of the storm damage or get a qualified tree surgeon to make a written report, as it will be your responsibility to prove that any work carried out was essential to make the tree safe.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry