Tree preservation orders

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) protect trees where appropriate in the interests of amenity. TPOs can protect individual trees, groups of trees, areas of trees or woodlands.

Trees that are suitable for protection in this way are usually those that are visible from a publicly accessible place, and their removal would cause significant harm to the environment.

Before making an order we need to be sure that:

  • The trees are at risk and that it is expedient to make an order.  
  • There will be a reasonable degree of public benefit

For more information see the government's guide Protected trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures.

Oxford City TPO and Conservation Area Locations

We have over 250 TPO’s and 18 Conservation Areas within the Oxford boundary.

You can see if a tree is protected by a TPO or in a Conservation Area on our map

Work on Trees Protected by a TPO

You need our permission before you carry out any works to a tree that is protected by a TPO. The maximum penalty for carrying out works to TPO trees without consent is £20,000.

Such work includes:

  • Cutting down
  • Uprooting
  • Topping
  • Lopping
  • Wilful damage or wilful destruction

It is not an offence to undertake work to a TPO tree that is dead, dying or has become dangerous.  However, the burden of proof that that a tree is exempt from the need for consent because of the condition of the tree(s) lies with the person carrying out the work.  Anyone proposing to do work under this exemption is strongly advised to contact us.

Applying for Tree Preservation Order Consent

If you would like to carry out works to a tree protected by a TPO then please complete a tree application form on the Planning Portal website.

Apply for TPO consent

Applications take 8 weeks to be processed and have a decision sent out. An acknowledgement letter is sent on receipt of an application which explains the procedures and deadlines.