Tree Preservation Orders

A Tree Preservation Order, often referred to as a TPO, is an order that can be made by the Local Planning Authority that gives legal protection to certain trees and woodlands.

A TPO makes the felling, uprooting or pruning (including roots) of a protected tree a criminal offence, unless the prior written consent of the authority has been obtained.

An application for consent to carry out works to a protected tree can be made using the PDF application form or Word application form, which can be returned by post, or via email to

Alternatively the notification can be submitted online via the Planning Portal

For further information regarding trees please follow the links below:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know whether a tree is covered by a Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area?

To find out if a tree is within a Conservation Area, or covered by a TPO, please telephone (01785) 619000 and we will be able to advise you.

How long does it take to consider an application? 

Stafford Borough Council has up to eight weeks to consider an application for tree works, at which point you will be notified in writing of the decision.

What works do I need to submit an application for?

Except in very limited circumstances, an application must be submitted for any felling, uprooting or pruning (including roots) of any living tree covered by a Tree Preservation Order. 

If the tree is dead there is no need to submit an application, but it is still a requirement to provide the authority with five working days written notice of intent to carry out works to it. 

There is no requirement to make an application for the removal of dead branches from a living tree, or for the removal of ivy.

If you believe the tree presents an immediate risk of serious harm please refer to our page on trees believed to be dangerous.

What can Stafford Borough Council do if damage is caused to a protected tree, or works are carried out without permission?

It is a criminal offence to damage, or carry out unauthorised works to, a tree covered by a Tree Preservation Order. 

Depending on the nature of the offence committed a successful prosecution can lead to an unlimited fine, or in exceptional cases, a custodial sentence. 

For further guidance regarding Tree Preservation Orders please see the government website.

A to Z of Services