Tree protection

Protected trees

Bury Council Planning department look after trees that are protected, being subject to a Tree Preservation Order and/or being situated in a conservation area.

Note: If a tree is situated on the highway or Council owned land, please see Tree care and management for further information.

Tree preservation orders (TPOs) are orders made by a Council that give the tree legal protection. This makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a protected tree without the Council's permission.

Councils have specific powers to protect trees by making TPOs, although the Forestry Commission is responsible for the control of felling generally.

Special provisions also apply to trees within conservation areas designated by Councils.

How to apply for consent to work on trees

For consent to work on trees that are protected by a TPO and/or located within a conservation area (see below) you must submit a Tree Works application via the Planning Portal and it is your responsibility to provide all the reports and documentation needed to support an application.

Consent to work on a TPO'd tree will require an arboricultural (tree) report to support the application (not mandatory for Conservation Area notifications) and this will also be essential for felling a tree.

Information must include:

  • your name and contact details,
  • your tree surgeon's name and contact details (if already appointed)
  • the address, postcode and grid reference of the tree
  • location plan to include both trees relevant to this application in one colour and any other trees (taller than one metre) that are not part of this application in another colour
  • description of the tree and proposed works (species, approximate height, circumference at 1m from ground level, is it coniferous or deciduous tree)
  • arboricultural (tree) report (for trees with a TPO)
  • if applying on the basis that the tree is causing structural damage an engineer or surveyor's report will be required

Note: Failure to include essential information will mean the application will be rejected as invalid and result in delays.

Desirable information should include:

  • on the location plan: other structures or reference points such as a building, driveway or shed
  • any powerlines or telephone cables
  • details of foot access
  • details of a neighbour who can provide alternative access if required

Submit a Tree Works application and find guidance - Planning portal - Works to Trees.

Submit a Tree Works application and find guidance

Note: A council officer may visit the site to assess the tree application.

See also: Tree Care Information - Find an arborist (please note, not part of Bury Council).

Conservation areas

All trees over 7.5 centimetres in diameter 1.5 metres above the ground are protected (or 10 centimetres if the tree is to help the growth of other trees). You will need to give us notice if you intend to carry out works to a tree that is this large to enable us to assess if a Tree Preservation Order should be placed on the tree.

You can check here if the tree is within a conservation area: Designated conservation areas.

See also: Planning portal - Notification of proposed works to trees in conservation areas.

Location of trees subject to preservation orders

We have plotted all the tree preservation orders in the area on a map. To see them, load up the map, link below, accept the terms and conditions and go to the top left corner, choose 'map layers' from the 'what would you like to do?' menu.

View Tree Preservation Orders on a map

Request a new Tree Preservation Order

You can request a new Tree Preservation Order if you consider that a particular tree or trees should be protected or are concerned about a tree in your area being removed - to do this please submit the request using our online form at the bottom of the page providing the following information:

  • The address or precise location of the tree(s)
  • identification of the species
  • photographs of the tree(s) and
  • justification as to why a TPO should to be placed on the tree(s)

Please note not all trees can have a TPO placed on them. Current legislation and government guidance sets out that new Tree Preservation Orders should be served by a Local Planning Authority where it is expedient in the interests of amenity. Amenity is not defined in law, Tree Preservation Orders should be used to protect selected trees and woodlands if their removal would have a significant negative impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public. Before new orders are made authorities should be able to show that protection would bring a reasonable degree of public benefit.

The following link details the process for making and confirming a Tree Preservation Order once a request is received: - Tree Preservation Orders and trees in conservation areas. The Planning department will inform you of its decision once it has undertaken an assessment.

Submit a Protected Tree enquiry