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Your Borough Of Poole

Privately owned trees

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is an order made by us to protect trees that make a significant contribution to the amenity of an area. For further information, please visit our Tree Preservation Order page.

You can find out whether a tree is covered by a TPO by using our map to search for it or telephoning us on 01202 633321.

When you are buying a property the presence of a TPO should be revealed by the search of the local land charges register.

Please contact us or use the Apply for it form if you wish to request a Tree Preservation Order be served on a specific tree.

The communities and Local Government Department have produced a guide to tree preservation procedures that may help further.

Trees in Conservation Areas - Section 211 Notices

Trees in conservation areas which are already protected by a TPO are subject to the normal TPO controls. But the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 also makes special provision for trees in conservation areas which are not the subject of a TPO.

Under section 211 anyone proposing to cut down or carry out work on a tree in a conservation area is required to give the LPA six weeks' prior notice (a 'section 211 notice').The purpose of this requirement is to give the LPA an opportunity to consider whether a TPO should be made in respect of the tree.

Ideally, a section 211 notice should be submitted using the Applying To Carry Out Tree Works form. It must describe the work proposed and include sufficient particulars to identify the trees.

Applying to carry out tree works

If you wish to carry out work to a tree on private land that is covered by a Tree Preservation Order or lies within a conservation area, you will need to complete a treework request - private land application form. For further information, please visit our Applying To Carry Out Tree Works page.

Dead or dangerous trees

You are allowed to prune or remove a tree that is presenting a risk or is dead. The danger must be imminent and the responsibility will be on you to prove this if necessary. Please report to us if you propose to carry out work on this basis at least five days in advance so we can agree with you which trees are dead or dangerous. Removal of dead wood from an otherwise healthy tree is considered to be covered by this exemption.

You are required to plant a suitable replacement tree during the next available planting season and notify us that the work has been carried out. On notification, we will visit to confirm that the tree has been planted. The replacement tree will be covered by the existing Tree Preservation Order.

Finding a tree surgeon

Whilst a lot of people advertise their services as tree surgeons, not all are qualified or experienced enough to carry out quality work. Visiting the Arboricultural Association website provides further information and a list of suitably qualified operatives. In addition, you are advised to visit our Finding A Tree Surgeon page for further on selecting a tree surgeon.

Civil disputes

If you consider you have a tree related civil dispute then you are advised to contact a solicitor. We cannot arbitrate in disputes between neighbours over trees.

For further information and assistance please visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website. If the dispute involves the siting or location of a tree, please contact the Land Registry.

We have the power to deal with trees on private land that are obstructing the public highway or are a danger to highway users.

If your dispute involves overhanging vegetation then both our Vegetation Overhanging The Highway and Trees - Your Questions Answered pages provide further information.

High hedges

If you're concerned about the height or position of a neighbours hedge, please read the leaflet 'Over the Garden Hedge' which is available to download from the Communities and Local Government website. If you still have queries, further information can be found at Environmental Services.

Overhanging branches

If your query relates to a neighbours tree overhanging the highway, please visit our Vegetation Overhanging The Highway page for further information.

If you need further information as what you can and cannot do to trees overhanging your property, please visit our Trees - Your Questions Answered page.

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Contact us


01202 633321

Planning & Regeneration Services
Civic Centre
BH15 2RU

Planning reception - visitor hours
Monday to Thursday - 9am to 5pm
Fridays - 9am to 4:30pm

Duty Officer
9am to 1pm