Trees and Tree Preservation Orders

In general it’s your business what you choose to do with any tree in your ownership but the District Council has chosen to place some trees under the protection of Tree Preservation Orders (or TPOs). If a tree is subject to a TPO then you must obtain the permission of the District Council before pruning or felling the tree even if it is dead.

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) gives legal protection to an individual tree, group of trees or woodland.

Trees may be protected due to their landscape value, setting in a built up area, historical value or interest within a local area. Carrying out unauthorised work on a protected tree is a criminal offence.

Trees in conservation areas have protection even if they don’t have a TPO. An application for permission to carry out work on trees in these areas must be submitted at least six weeks before any work is carried out.

The only exception is if a tree is dead or dangerous, when you only need to give us five days notice in writing.

You can find out if trees are legally protected with a TPO, or are in a conservation area on our District Planning Map:

In addition to TPOs on specific trees all trees within the Milton Conservation Area are automatically covered by a TPO once their trunk is more than 3″ (75mm) in diameter at a height of 4′ from the ground. This includes garden trees such a flowering cherries and the like.

If you think your tree may be covered by a TPO then you should contact either the village Tree Warden or South Cambridgeshire District Council’s tree officer for advice before undertaking any pruning or felling.

It doesn’t cost you anything to apply to have works done on a tree covered by a TPO. includes maps and text descriptions.


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