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 typically considered for TPOs are those visible from public spaces, whose removal would significantly harm the environment.

To issue a TPO, we must confirm 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 detailed information, visit the government's guide: Protected trees: a guide to tree preservation procedures.

TPOs and Conservation Areas in Oxford

Oxford has over 250 TPOs and 18 Conservation Areas. To find out if a tree falls under a TPO or is within a Conservation Area, visit our TPO and Conservation Area map.

Work on trees protected by a TPO

Before conducting any work on a TPO-protected tree, you need our permission. Unauthorised work can result in fines up to £20,000 at a Magistrates' Court, or in very serious cases, a potentially unlimited fine at Crown Court. Such work includes:

  • cutting down
  • uprooting
  • topping
  • lopping
  • wilful damage or 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 excepted 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 exception is strongly advised to contact us. Removing dead branches from living trees is an exception.

Applying for TPO consent

To request permission for work on a TPO-protected tree, complete a tree application form on the Planning Portal website.

Apply for TPO consent (Planning Portal)

Applications typically take 8 weeks to process. You will receive an acknowledgement letter explaining the procedures and timeframes upon application submission.

Contact the Tree Officer

Address: Town Hall
St Aldate's

Telephone: 01865 249811

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