What is a Tree Preservation Order?

Thanet District Council is responsible for the administration and management of trees in Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). This involves the survey and inspection of trees for inclusion in new TPOs and the consideration of proposals by owners to fell or prune protected trees.

Tree Preservation Orders are used to protect selected trees and woodlands

  • where they contribute significantly to the quality of an area
  • their removal would have a negative impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public.  

Trees may be worthy of preservation for their intrinsic beauty or their contribution to the landscape, because they serve as a screen or for their scarcity. Other factors such as their value as a wildlife habitat may also be considered. 

Tree Preservation Orders enable Local Planning Authorities to protect important trees. TPOs can be placed on any tree that has amenity value, including hedgerow trees but not hedges, bushes or shrubs. 

Trees that are exempt from TPOs are those that are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous and fruit trees grown for the commercial production of fruit. TPOs prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage or wilful destruction of trees without the Local Authorities consent. The maximum penalty for carrying out works to TPO trees without consent is up to £20,000 a tree.  

For a comprehensive guide to the law and best practice on Tree Preservation Orders please see the